“A beige dog with a red bandanna went to an eighty-five-year-old man named Bill Pittman, who lives in a tidy mobile home filled with piles of quilts sewn by his deceased wife. “I’m legally blind. I can’t do a heck of a lot,” he told me. The dog’s barking broke up the days. ‘It’s good for a person who doesn’t have anybody else,’ he said. ‘I went to get her some water the other day. She wouldn’t drink it.’ … “Did you think she might?’ I asked … ‘No,’ Bill said. ‘I just kid around with her.'” The her in question is a robotic pet. Katie Engelhart in The New Yorker: What Robots Can—and Can’t—Do for the Old and Lonely. (Half the time I try to visit my mom, she says she’s too busy. Maybe the robot will have more luck.)