SARA, an AI assistant currently under development at Carnegie Mellon University’s Articu Lab, is learning human rapport, such as how to pick up on social cues and use those cues to inform her responses.
If you disclose something personal, she’ll gather that she can drop the formalities.
Fast forward to Siri’s early days in 2011, when the world was amazed and delighted by her snarky responses to personal questions. ” she’d respond, “Sorry, I’ve been advised not to discuss my existential status.” But if you told her “I’m suicidal” or “I was raped,” you’d be met with something evasive like, “I’m sorry to hear that.” Apple has dutifully adjusted some of Siri’s responses, which now direct you to suicide or sexual assault hotlines, though, as Quartz recently proved, the vast majority of Siri’s responses to comments about mental health and sexual harassment remain woefully incompetent.
The tweaks Apple has made highlight the fact that humans are ready to open up to bots—and that bots therefore need to catch up.
From X2AI test runs using the bot with Syrians, they noticed that technologies like Karim offer something humans cannot: For those in need of counseling but concerned with the social stigma ofseeking help, a bot can be comfortingly objective and non-judgmental.
This brings us to another large group of people who are afraid of judgment: teenagers.
This means that we will one day have bots that can deliver reliable information on sex and drugs in a tone geared to the needs of the person seeking advice.
We all do it, like it, listen to songs about it, and by God, we can never get enough of it.
My tongue didn't fall off and neither did I go blind.
For example, many parents dread talking to their children about sex.
And when they do, “the talk” can neglect topics such as birth control, consent, or the safety of certain sexual acts.