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”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.
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.
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.
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.
Tag Hartman-Simkins“Once they open up, the magic happens,” Kuyda told Futurism.
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.