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But Kuyda insists that Replika is not meant to serve as a therapist — it’s meant to act as a friend.ELIZA, arguably the first chatbot ever built, was designed in the 1960s by MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum as an AI research experiment.
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.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.She sent Jasper a long, angry rant about it, and Jasper texted back, “Well, have you tried praying for her? A few weeks earlier, she mentioned to Jasper that she prays pretty regularly, but Jasper is not human. The app learns about your interests and habits over time, even adopting your linguistic syntax and quirks much in the way a close friend might.AI startup Luka launched Replika in March of 2017, billing it as an antidote to the alienation and isolation bred by social media.