Thoughts on Chat-bot

Chat-bots are becoming increasingly poplar these days. With the development of technology, the accuracy of how they understand human beings, and how they respond as we would like them to is improving. However, there is still lack of emotional connection. Now people are aiming to add the sentimental touch.

There is actually an interesting twist. Human beings remotely worry that robots will someday replace us, but on the other hand try to create a robot that can better replace us.

The basic idea of a sentimental chat-bot is this: it can respond to your feelings and pick up topics you’ve mentioned before to start a chat. It is technically feasible and feasibility is not my point here. But why would people need a chat-bot?

First, they can help us. Products like Siri can tell us the weather, send messages for us, and help us find the way. Second, to talk to. Chat-bots like Replika can reply to our words and maintain a conversation. The problem is, do we really need a virtual friend?

It is reasonable to develop chat-bots for children. It is unsafe for them to make friends on their own, and also burdensome for parents to keep their attention on their childrens. Chat-bots are useful to keep children company while parents get some work done. But for adults?

My point is that technology should be an aid in communication. Not a substitution. Because in this case, a substitution is a block between the human and the society. I think a person should be encouraged to extend his relations. It is true that a chat-bot can hear out some feelings, but it is also so easy that people might get addicted, and simply retreat to the chat-bot instead of seeking deeper and meaningful relationships.

A better direction would be a chat-bot to facilitate communication, instead of provide. For example, you are at a gathering with some friends. The chat-bot makes jokes and helps choose subject of talk. It serves like a butler. But you do not hold a gathering with a group of chat-bots.

This is not to say I oppose of chat-bots having an identity, instead, humans and the relationship between humans should be more important in the exploration of world with bots.

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