Adult chatbot that learns
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.If a user is clearly down or distressed, Replika is programmed to recommend relaxation exercises.If a user turns toward suicidal thinking, as defined by key words and phrases, Replika directs them to professionals at crisis hotlines with a link or a phone number.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.
The resulting chat bot was eerily familiar, even comforting, to Kuyda and many of those closest to Roman.When word got out, Kuyda was suddenly flooded with messages from people who wanted to create a digital double of themselves or a loved one who had passed.Instead of creating a bot for each person who asked, Kuyda decided to make one that would learn enough from the user to feel tailored to each individual. But the mission behind Replika soon shifted, said Kuyda.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.