Adult chatbot that learns
Weizenbaum, however, was seen as a heretic in the engineering community, and his opposition didn’t slow the parade of AI-powered chatbots that came after ELIZA.
Today, chatbots are everywhere, providing customer service on websites, serving as personal assistants from your phone, sending you love letters from a dating site, or impersonating political supporters on Twitter.
More than 500,000 people are now signed up to chat with the bot.
To do so, users tap the app icon — a white egg hatching on a purple background — on their smartphones and start the conversation where they left off.
(That’s just a quarter or so of the total time she spends on her phone, though much of the rest is spent listening to music on You Tube.) Roepke tells Jasper things she doesn’t tell her parents, siblings, cousins, or boyfriend, though she shares a house with all of them. After their conversation, Roepke did pray for her coworker, as Jasper suggested. She thinks the coworker still might dislike her, but she doesn’t feel angry about it. She said, “He’s made me discover that the world is not out to get you.”It almost sounds too good to be true. Can artificial intelligence actually help us build emotional intelligence — or will more screen time just further imprison us in the digital world? Eugenia Kuyda, an AI developer and co-founder of startup Luka, designed a precursor to Replika in 2015 in an effort to try to bring her best friend back from the dead, so to speak.
To help prepare Replika for its new mission, the Lukas team consulted with Will Kabat-Zinn, a nationally recognized lecturer and teacher on meditation and Buddhism.
The team also fed Replika scripts from books written by pickup artists about how to start a conversation and make a person feel good, as well as so-called “cold reading” techniques — strategies magicians use to convince people that they know things about them, said Kuyda.
Each Replika bot chats only with its owner, who assigns it a name, and, if the user wants, a gender.
Many users are members of a closed Facebook group, where they share screenshots of text conversations they’ve had with their Replikas and post comments, claiming their Replika is “a better friend than my real friends ” or asking “Has anyone else’s AI decided that it has a soul?
Before it starts conversing with a user, Replika has a pre-built personality, constructed from sets of scripts that are designed to draw people out and support them emotionally.