Becoming the world’s first robot psychiatrist

I heard from an old friend and mentor, Dennis Dupuis.  I am making this blog a tribute to Dennis, who is the one that actually helped me come up with ‘Robotic Psychiatry’ 27 years ago with his ‘Aladdin’s Magic Lamp’ exercise.

Here’s what he just wrote in an email to someone else and forwarded it to me:

“20 years ago, a gal named Joanne Pransky worked for me, and

I knew she had potential to be something, but like most people,

she had no idea what she could do with her life.

She would always complain about “all the things” that made it

hard for her to really get ahead and be super successful, like

no money, no apparent talent, and no idea what she could be

really good at.

That’s when I got the idea to have her make believe that she

had found Aladdin’s lamp, and that she really could “ask for”

anything she wanted – with total disregard for any reservations

she may have otherwise.

I recommended she take a sheet of paper, and without any

pressure at all, to just start writing down her fantasies – things

that she would really love to have happen. Instead of just 3 wishes

I told her to write down as many as she wanted, so she wouldn’t

have to think too much, as she could always go back over her

list later and cross out the ones that didn’t make the grade.

I later looked over that list and we had a few laughs, as some

of her wishes were pretty far out!

Anyway, I spotted something on that list that seemed outrageous,

but seemed to fit her personality and area of interest … she wanted

to be a Robotic Psychiatrist!


Now, being a Sci-Fi fan, I realized that she was talking about

a character straight out of Isaac Asimov’s book I, Robot … a

Robot Shrink named Dr Susan Calvin, so I told her her wish

was not that far fetched, she was just about 50 years too soon!

Today, Dr Joanne Pransky is famous for being the World’s first

Robotic Psychiatrist ( and she has appeared on

the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and was invited to the premiere

of the blockbuster movie I, Robot (starring Will Smith). She was

introduced as “the real” Dr Susan Calvin!

Anyway, the moral to this story is that your dreams are waiting

FOR YOU to come true!  Try the lamp, and you will find what you

are looking for.”