What is AI?

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Curious about AI? Sign up for a free talk on Zoom about AI on June 15 at 12pm EDT. Details are here.  

As the world becomes increasingly digitized, artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming many aspects of our lives. While older adults may initially find themselves hesitant to adopt AI technologies, just like with anything we interact with, there are pros and cons to AI – and many older adults might be surprised to know they’re already using AI.

We have been reaping the benefits of AI technology for years via voice assistants.

Voice Assistants

We have been reaping the benefits of AI technology for years via voice assistants. Virtual assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, can be powerful tools for older adults, providing voice-activated help with everyday tasks like setting reminders, making phone calls, and accessing information. Voice-controlled smart home devices can also automate household functions, promoting convenience and accessibility.

Remote Health Monitoring

Another great benefit is AI-powered devices and applications that can provide remote health monitoring, medication reminders, and fall detection systems, enhancing safety and enabling seniors to age in place with peace of mind. Virtual caregivers and companion robots can also offer emotional support, reduce loneliness, and promote cognitive stimulation.

Brain trainers

There are AI brain training apps and games that can improve cognitive abilities, memory, and overall mental well-being. These tools offer engaging and interactive experiences that promote lifelong learning and studies show it has helped combat age-related cognitive decline.

AI Downsides

The collection and storage of personal data by AI systems raises concerns about privacy and potential misuse.

Privacy and Security: While AI brings numerous advantages, it is important to acknowledge and address potential downsides such as privacy and security. The collection and storage of personal data by AI systems raises concerns about privacy and potential misuse. Older adults must be aware of the privacy implications and take necessary precautions when using AI technologies.

Social Isolation: Ironically, another potential downside is social isolation. Although AI can combat loneliness, it cannot replace human interaction. Excessive reliance on AI for companionship may inadvertently isolate older adults from genuine social connections. Balancing AI integration with face-to-face interactions is crucial.

Getting Comfortable with AI

AI also provides a barrier when it comes accessibility and user friendliness, especially for those who are less tech savvy. However, Senior Planet does offer AI themed Tech Tanks at our centers where you will have the opportunity to become more comfortable with it!

The Tech Tank is a hands-on experiential program that allows participants to interact and use a new/developing piece of technology. Please ask your local Senior Planet Center about when the next Tech Tank around ChatGPT will take place! And be sure to check out our weekly schedules to see when we will be offering it next!

Our Senior Planet in New York City technology trainer, Brian Rapsey has been hosting the AI Tech Tank for several weeks using the AI text-based platform, Chat-GPT, and has received great feedback from the participants who have interacted with the platform.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of interest in AI and when participants have the opportunity to interact with Chat-GPT, it’s been eye opening for them,” Rapsey says. “It eased their apprehension and opened the door for endless opportunities on how AI can be beneficial to their lives, while also being cautious of how to interact with it in a safe way”.

As AI continues to advance, older adults can benefit from its transformative potential. By embracing AI technologies with awareness and caution, they can tap into a world of convenience, safety, and cognitive stimulation, enhancing their overall quality of life while navigating potential downsides.

When it comes to the benefits of this developing technology, AI can revolutionize older adults’ lives, empowering them to lead more independent and fulfilling lives.

Your Turn

What’s your experience with AI applications like Alexa, Google Assistant or others? Let us know in the comments!

In his role as Director of In-Person Program Experiences, Marco DiGirolomo is responsible for managing all in-person programmatic operations across the United States. Marco holds an MBA in Marketing Management from Pace University and a B.A in Public Relations and Multimedia Journalism from State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Prior to joining OATS Marco was Account Executive for the nonprofit Honor Flight North Country where he oversaw all communications for the organization.

 In his free time, Marco enjoys cooking, going for runs, and hanging out with friends, family, and his 26lb. cat, Seoul.

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