The WSJ reports about an ethical dilemma about using a fake baby seal as a babysitter for adults. The Paro is powered by two 32-bit processors, three microphones, 12 tactile sensors. It has touch-sensitive whiskers and a system of motors that silently move its parts. The Paro can recognize voices, track motion and "remember" behaviors that elicit positive responses from patients. American nursing homes are intrigued because it may take over the pet therapy from dogs and cats. Others are worried about the robots giving fake love and how it might effect our culture which is too willing to use it for such groups of people as demented patients. It doesn't bother me that much. If a demented patient can't remember her husband but is content with a teddy bear or fake seal as her best friend then more power to her. I am more intrigued about the fact that this fake seal was cleared last fall by U.S. regulators as a Class 2 medical device (a category that includes powered wheelchairs). This means Medicare and our taxes may have to pick up the tab for it which is $6000 each! The commercials, though, would be funny as hell: "Are you tired of playing with Grandma? Does she pet a cucumber as if it were a dog? Then she may qualify for a Paro at no expense to you".