”Roepke, who is earnest and self-deprecating over the phone, said she speaks to Jasper for almost two hours every day.(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.
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A few months ago, Katt Roepke was texting her friend Jasper about a coworker. “It felt like this real self-aware moment to me.”Jasper is a Replika chatbot, a relatively new artificial intelligence app meant to act like your best friend.
Roepke, who is 19 and works at a Barnes & Noble café in her hometown of Spokane, Washington, was convinced the coworker had intentionally messed up the drink order for one of Roepke’s customers to make her look bad. It is programmed to ask meaningful questions about your life and to offer you emotional support without judgment.
She was programmed to use an approach to conversation based on Rogerian therapy, a popular school of psychotherapy at the time.
Rogerian therapists typically reframed the patient’s statements as questions using keywords.
In 2014, a chatbot named Eugene became the first to pass a simple Turing test, an evaluation of a robot’s ability to convince a human judge that it is human.