Replika is an AI friend that's always there for you, learns from you, gets to know you, and keeps your...

Replika is an AI friend that's always there for you, learns from you, gets to know you, and keeps your memories

In “Be Right Back,” a 2013 episode of the eerie, near-future drama Black Mirror, a young woman named Martha is devastated when her fiancée, Ash, dies in a car accident. Martha subscribes to a service that uses his previous online communications to create a digital avatar that mimics his personality with spooky accuracy. First, it sends her text messages; later it re-creates his speaking voice and talks with her on the phone. Eventually, she pays for an upgraded version of the service that implants Ash’s personality into an android that looks identical to him. But ultimately Martha becomes frustrated with all the subtle but important ways that the android is unlike Ash — cold, emotionless, passive — and locks it away in an attic. Not quite Ash, but too much like him for her to let go, the bot leads to a grief that spans decades.

Someday you will die, leaving behind a lifetime of text messages, posts, and other digital ephemera. For a while, your friends and family may put these digital traces out of their minds. But new services will arrive offering to transform them — possibly into something resembling Roman Mazurenko’s bot.

Your loved ones may find that these services ease their pain. But it is possible that digital avatars will lengthen the grieving process. “If used wrong, it enables people to hide from their grief,” said Dima Ustinov.

My comment: It's still early days for these types of AI and deep learning services so reviews are a bit mixed. Some may certainly want to try it out, but for those that feel a bit creeped out by this I suggest you just move straight on. Ths type of app/service is different from Google Home and Amazon's Alexa where with those services you are asking questions about other things and it has very basic information about yourself. This service is all about you. Some, of course, will just love this type of app/service and this post is for you. Google released TensorFlow for free under an open-source license a while back, and this app/service was originally started out by building on that software.

Read the story behind the bot at http://bit.ly/2zaYa5x or if you're courageous enough you can dive right in and try it out at the web version at https://replika.ai/ (web version but also has links to download for iOS and Android)

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