DP – Technology, Friend or Foe?

The big question for today is, “does Replika have the potential to teach us how to be a better friend?”

Replika is an artificial intelligence app that you can talk to. After many hours of speaking to it, it starts to act like you.

I’m honestly quite sceptical about being able to be good friends with a robot in your phone. We spend so long building friendships and trust in real life, but what would it be like just to sit down and text something for so long that you start to feel like it’s a real person. It is a robot, and if anyone else had access to whatever conversations you were having, they could possibly learn a lot of personal things about you, if you had those sorts of conversations with your robot. We watched a video on how Replika came to be and what it does. I did think that Replika could be good because you could vent to the AI without being worried that they were going to judge you. When I was reading an article on it, I picked up a quote that linked to my few positive opinions on it. “Create a best friend within your phone.” If you use the app then it is possible that you get to make a new best friend and that relationship would be built because the AI would get to know you and all of your experiences. I don’t like the idea that you can talk to AI that is so smart and so human-like that you could possibly and eventually start to feel like it is one. I am curious about but also very uneasy. In the video they said, “in some ways Replika is a better friend than your real friend,” but in my opinion, I would never want to let that happen. It’s weird for someone to become so attached to something that is pretending to be human. I wouldn’t want to lose connections with my friends whom I have spent many years getting to know. What makes my friends better is that they can physically be there for me and they understand emotionally.

I chose to have this picture in my post because in my opinion, if we keep going down this path of trying to make AI seem like humans, it could lead to robots having their own mind. I don’t mean the robot apocalypse but it would be really weird if robots started living among us as humans.

Here is a video of what people think is the best and worst thing about technology in terms of friends:

A question I have for you is:

Would you mind having an AI for a best friend, instead of all your friends in real life?


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1 Comment on DP – Technology, Friend or Foe?

  1. dutt55904@gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg
    November 21, 2017 at 2:30 am (5 years ago)

    The most thought-provoking line in your post is when you say that you don’t like the idea of humans becoming so attached to this program that it starts to feel human. I say this because it is an interesting way to view the progression of AI and how far humans have come to create ‘fake’ versions of themselves. After reading your post, I think that a good follow up question for us to consider would be whether to allow programs like this to develop even further, maybe even through the aspect of them entering the physical world.


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