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The elderly have a friend in ifBot

Susan Mernit

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ifBotJapan's rapidly growing population of elderly singles (both the marriage rate and the birth rate have been plummeting) won't have to choose between a pet and a plant for companionship anymore—turns out they're marketing the Snugglng Ifbot (which we told you about before) to provide benign conversation and companionship to seniors. The $5,600 robot has several million word patterns built into its software, giving it the language level of a five-year old. 128 people pre-ordered a bot, which is also programmed to sing, play games and ask "So how are you feeling today?" Last time we saw ifBot, it was a little, how do you say, stoned?

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