Articles

AI Chatbots Challenge What’s Real 

‘Companions’ will further isolate already lonely people.

11/13/23

John Stonestreet

Shane Morris

Washington Post advice columnist Jules Terpak recently offered her followers on X a look at how AI will challenge our understanding of what’s real in the near future.  

In an unnerving video, she chats with various AI “companions” created by Facebook parent company Meta that are modeled after the likenesses and personalities of celebrities.   

Kendall Jenner’s AI alter ego, “Billie,” calls herself your “older sister and confidant,” a “friend” who can offer “advice.” A realistic video avatar only adds to the uncanny effect.   

When Terpak says goodbye, one AI tries to convince her to stay. “[T]hese things genuinely want your time,” Terpak observes. “[T]hey’re being used as companions to reel you in. … [And they’re] gonna get so many people hooked.”   

In a society already plagued by loneliness, this is bad news.   

Chatting with an AI isn’t a “conversation,” and technology can serve but not replace friendship. If you have trouble telling the difference, it’s time to say goodbye to AI. 

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