Spain’s Ministry of Health, together with the Spanish division of Microsoft, has created a robot called “Robin” to provide “information” about sexual relations, sexually transmitted diseases and other issues. Young people will be able to use the Microsoft Messenger program to communicate with “Robin,” who will be available 24/7 to answer any questions about sex and alcohol.
During a presentation of the program, Bernat Soria, Spain’s Minister of Health, said the purpose of the robot, who interacts with users as a normal contact on their list, is “to provide to our young people rigorous and accessible information” about sex.
“Robin’s” answers will be programmed by officials of the Ministry of Health, and according to Rosa Garcia, president of Microsoft in Spain, the hope is to reach to 1.7 million Spanish youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who use Messenger each day.
Pro-family groups are worried about the answers “Robin” will give users, as the Ministry of Health has said the robot will use “the same language as young people and help them overcome their embarrassment or timidity in discussing issues such as sexual relations.” In this way “Robin” would take the place of parents and teachers in matters related to sexuality.
“Robin” will be programmed to respond to the 300 different questions posed in “natural terms,” and it will ask for clarifications in response to questions posed using vulgar language.
The responses may include Pictures and other material in addition to text.
The Ministry of Health announced that Microsoft Spain will log the questions young people ask that do not generate a response in order to create new answers.