The answer to ending loneliness may be AI and if we can wrap information within a personality with a sense of humour, that may be the perfect companion.
In 2001, if you were on AOL and wanted to chat with one of the buddies on your list, there was always someone there waiting for you, even if no human wanted to talk. You didn’t need to look for SmarterChild. It was already in your Buddy List waiting for you to begin chatting with it. SmarterChild was online from 2000 to 2006 and was the first commercial chatbot. It was witty, it knew stuff and it quickly became the most popular bot in history, pre-Siri, pre-Alexa. Five percent of all instant messaging traffic at that time–hundreds of millions of messages a day–went through the bot named SmarterChild. And then SmarterChild was gone. Artificial Intelligence is said to be as important in the 21st century as electricity and steam power in earlier centuries. Could we use AI to solve loneliness?
Major Sources Cited:
Susan C Bennett Interview Sept 2 2021
James Barrat Interview Sept 6 2021
Host and Writer: Peg Fong
Director: Callie O’Reilly
Theme music: Ian Lefeuvre and Ari Posner
Engineer: Geoff Devine
Producers: Debbie O’Reilly and Guillermo Serrano
Executive Producer: Terry O’Reilly
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