Disconcerting as they may sound, End of Life (EOL) and End of Support ( EOS) mean little for inanimate objects, software and hardware included.
If anything, they are anticipated events that trigger an upgrade cycle though that is rapidly losing relevance in an increasingly cloud-driven world of business marked by continuous innovation that keeps platforms evergreen.
With this technological evolution comes a revolution that is replacing or blending with human power – the surge of Artificial Intelligence (AI), seen synonymously with machine learning and robotic process automation.
EOL for machines may not stir any sentiment of a personal loss. That is a corporate issue and alarm bells may ring around risks to the business if that is not met with a timely resolution.
It is when human lives reach end of life it touches an emotional chord, evoking a sense of helplessness and anguish.
“Never Give up. Never, Never, Never!”
Technologies may remain evergreen, people cannot escape the end-of-life (EOL) phase. They fight and soldier on till the very end, supported by humanitarianism and palliative care in a world that this moving CNN piece takes us to.
They live by the dictum articulated by Winston Churchill – “Never Give up. Never, Never, Never!”
This is a perspective where AI vaults over the power of HI (Human Intelligence) – less contentious issues to tide over as with more power to automation there will not be much room for human-to-human corporate friction.
How about robotic misbehaviour? Will there be an AI replication of men and women jostling with one another for upward mobility?
That will be too much of an imaginative stretch even if multiple chatbots after are pitted against one another.
Cruel, Immobile Journey to Death
I shudder to visualise the EOL bedridden phase of the terminally ill that we all dread. The indignities that become a part of such a cruel, immobile journey to death do invoke the need for euthanasia.
Caregivers who give up everything, including their jobs, to take care of their near and dear also go through a debilitating period, confronting depression and death. Caregiving does go beyond families, with professional caregivers being available in many countries. But as demand for caregivers surges, a serious shortage of resources has prompted institutions and businesses to develop robots to address the situation.
Can robots be trained to provide care to those on the throes of death? Will costs be prohibitive, and will insurance cover them?
Importantly, will the dying – who may throw tantrums at their sons, daughters and others caring for them – be ready to embrace machines for their care?
AI Innovations Span Every Aspect of Caregiving
Suffice it to say that AI innovations encompassing every aspect of caregiving are already in the market. They include robots with the ability to carry the immobile elderly from beds to chairs and bathrooms for washing. Devices and sensors help track / monitor patient state and alert relatives when any abnormality is noticed.
Robots such as automated pet cats and those with tailored entertainment options are also available to cater to the emotional needs of those receiving EOL care.
The future of eldercare will continue to evolve with AI centricity as demand continues to grow. There can be no denying, though, that how we die does matter, as the CNN writeup points out.
G Joslin Vethakumar