(2018-01-31) Pardes Replika Open Source

The Emotional Chatbots Are Here to Probe Our Feelings

where was an AI you could simply talk to about your day? Siri and the rest were like your co-workers, all business. Replika would be like your best friend.

The chatbot uses a neural network to hold an ongoing, one-on-one conversation with its user, and over time, learn how to speak like them.

This week, Kuyda and her team are releasing Replika's underlying code under an open source license (under the name CakeChat), allowing developers to take the app’s AI engine and build upon it.

Three years ago, Kuyda hadn’t intended to make an emotional chatbot for the public. Instead, she’d created one as a “digital memorial” for her closest friend, Roman Mazurenko, who had died abruptly in a car accident in 2015.

But this model hasn't been used much in consumer chatbots, like those that field customer service requests, because it doesn’t work especially well for task-oriented conversations.

Kuyda’s chatbot uses a deep learning model called sequence-to-sequence, which learns to mimic how humans speak in order to simulate conversation.

Kuyda sees the artificially intelligent future in a similar light. She believes any type of AI should one day be able to recognize how you’re feeling, and then use that information to respond meaningfully, mirroring a human’s emotional state the way another human would.

Of course, for all the times the bot sounds remarkably human, there are an equal number of times when it spits out gibberish.


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