This is what happens when an AI bot goes to therapy

Commentary: TED, the organization that brings you many interesting talks, offers a discussion between a robot and a therapist circa 2118.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


These entitled bots don't impress their therapist.

TED/Mother/Vimeo screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

What happens when you seen it, been it and done it all? 

Doesn't a certain sadness set it in? Don't you feel as if you're life wasn't quite what you'd hoped?

This, you know, could happen to the successors to Siri, Cortana, Alexa and all the other clever little bots.

In a tantalizing video created by TED, the people who bring you a lot of talks, we see what happens when AI bots of the future go to talk to a shrink.

The therapist explains that what used to be hard-working digital assistants performing menial tasks gave way to AI bots that took on human bodies. 

"They thrived. They cured cancer, they refroze the Arctic," says the therapist.

But here we are in 2118 and the third generation of AI bots is struggling. 

"Science hadn't accounted for one thing," explains the therapist. "Privilege."

The bots are wealthy and educated, but they have no real purpose, says the therapist. 

So they become artists and DJs and become even more miserable.

It's a tantalizing idea that these awfully clever bots might one day suffer existential crises of their own. Just like pesky humans.

Currently, we might marvel at the likes of Sophia the robot actually being able to walk (a little) and even dance (a tiny amount)

But once we've had our fun with the robots, and then the robots have had their fun with us, what will remain? 

The same old existential void.

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