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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Robot Psyche Tester  
  An automated psychiatric evaluation device.  

It's important to have objective information about your mental state. Who better to decide than a robot?

The robot psyche tester whirred, integrating and gestalting. At last its color code lights changed from red to green.

"Well?" Hall demanded.

"Severe disturbance. Instability ratio up above ten."

"That's over danger?"

"Yes. Eight is danger. Ten is unusual, especially for a person with your index. You usually show about a four... If you could give me more data-"

Hall set his jaw. "I can't tell you any more."

"It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test," the machine said peevishly. "If you do that you deliberately distort my findings."

From Colony, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Galaxy Science Fiction in 1953
Additional resources -

Compare this device with Sigrid von Shrink from Gateway (1970) by Frederik Pohl, the machine psychologist from James Blish's Cities in Flight, the mechanotherapist from Bad Medicine (a 1956 Robert Sheckley story), Dr. Smile, from Dick's 1964 novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Colony
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Colony
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Robot Psyche Tester-related news articles:
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