You’re going to be hearing about bots more often from now on. Bot companies are multiplying in the technological landscape. They’re being developed to engage with the needs of humans more than ever, and technological advancements in AI mean cognitive evolution in machines is more of a tangible possibility. We’re not at the stage where bots can write a symphony, or an investigative article, or fall in love. But they can write articles about earthquakes, and the weather—things that are predictable. They can also be your digital lover, or collaborate with you on your next novel. There are still issues to be ironed out, more tests to be run and far more to understand about AI in society. Yet, bots are testing our own understanding of the human mind.
Browse in a search engine for a chatbot company, like Snatchbot.me, and you’ll find that the technology to combine bot technology and language is available for anyone to use. Depending on your own knowledge of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing, you have the ability to test the limits (and possibilities) of bot learning.
My question is, have humans proved themselves responsible enough, and reasonable enough, to play around with a potentially new form of intelligence?
We’re trying to make human-bot interactions indistinguishable from human-human interactions. Bots are being developed to be better tools for the economy, human well being and sexual fulfilment. They are being imagined as tools for marriage counselling, knowledge sharing, creativity, and even policing. The processes that allow us to make elaborate, imaginative, or convincing arguments, that allow us to manipulate conversations, change people’s opinions, and to use language independently to achieve the best possible outcomes are being given the AI treatment. Some experts say that we do not know enough about the interactions between psychology and technology to make claims to an understanding of AI. If these are the beginnings of a digital revolution, then the future looks mecha, and labour looks more bot than human.