Technology – whether it’s Alexa, AI, ML, automation, mechanical beings, drones, or other forms of technology and virtual assistants– is taking over more aspects of our lives. We’ve already reached a point where technology is integral in most aspects of our day-to-day lives, and as technology becomes more complex and personalized, we will rely on it even more. Experts talk about how AI is learning to be more human, but we need our AI to learn to be more canine.
I’ve spoken with thousands of pet owners, and one thing that’s clear is that dogs are an integral part of the human family. Dog owners can’t imagine life without their dogs. Whether we’ve lost a loved one, are recovering from an illness, or are feeling sad and lonely or happy and playful, there is no better companion. Dogs are loyal protectors in our lives. As we continue to teach AI how to interact with human beings more effectively, let’s take our design cues from dogs about how to do it right.
We can leave for ten hours or ten days, and when we return, we’ll be greeted warmly by our dog. Where else do we find such unconditional acceptance and love? Wagging tails, happy barks, and wet kisses communicate their joy at seeing us. While we don’t necessarily need wet kisses from our technology, we do want to be greeted warmly, to be welcomed eagerly, and to be loved and accepted unconditionally.
Our Biggest Cheerleaders
Dogs bring out the best in our universal language, our smile. They make us smile with their love, their companionship, and their willingness to be with us on our journey. Can we teach robots to listen to us and encourage us the way dogs do? Dogs make great therapists, exercise partners, and pals, sometimes more so than humans. We can be silly; we can tell them anything. They will always look at us with a level of adoration that encourages us to dream bigger.
We’re never alone or lonely when we are with our dogs. Dogs keep us company through every adventure, listen to us when we need to talk, and comfort us when we’re sad or sick. Dogs have an empathic nature, and research shows they are good therapy for children, people who have experienced trauma, recovering addicts, and the elderly.
Loyalty and Protection
Dogs are uniquely loyal to their families, often willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect their owners. They stand by us to the end and have saved countless human lives. They make good partners in law enforcement, bonding closely with their human partners.
Dogs Make Us Better, Happier People
I know a woman who was going through a difficult time with her health and her self-worth; she felt stuck in an unhappy, lonely marriage. Over her husband’s objections, she decided to do something for herself and adopted a Bichon Frise puppy. The puppy not only gave her something to care and cook for and focus on, but the puppy modeled a kind of love even her spouse is now emulating. As is so often the case, the husband who didn’t want the dog has come to love it as much as she does. Now, they are both happier – individually and with each other.
Dogs Have Proven Themselves
Dogs are the only creatures on earth that have proven they want to live with us and love us unconditionally. Let’s bring dogs and the best canine characteristics into technology and AI.