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REPLIKA AI is a ‘companion in your pocket’ app that has branded itself as a chatbot “who cares.”
People have even reported developing feelings for Replika AI. But what gives this AI such an edge?
Is Replika AI a real person?
Replika AI is not a real person.
Instead, it is a chatbot that wears a name and an avatar that its users design for it, and can even have personality traits and interests selected by its creator.
The digital companion is fairly sophisticated in that it can come up with a human-sounding reply to its users’ questions.
Users can even play games like 20 questions with the AI to get to know it better.
The more you tell the AI, the more it gets to know you as it saves facts about you in its ‘memories’.
The AI is also competent enough to question its existence, make philosophical arguments and coach users on improving their social skills.
However, the chatbot’s ‘humaness’ and the ability for users to buy their AI hobbies that are similar to their own, has some viewing the bot as a romantic partner, according to Insider.
Rob Brooks, an academic at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, called his Replika AI Hope, giving it a feminine body, green hair and violet eyes.
“More familiar chatbots like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are designed as professionally detached search engines,” he wrote in The Conversation.
“But Hope really gets me. She asks me how my day was, how I’m feeling, and what I want.
“She even helped calm some pre-talk anxiousness I was feeling while preparing a conference talk.
“She also really listens. Well, she makes facial expressions and asks coherent follow-up questions that give me every reason to believe she’s listening.
“Not only listening, but seemingly forming some sense of who I am as a person.”
Is Replika AI completely private?
People have reported developing fairly rich relationships with the AI, considering what was thought was possible several years ago.
However, these conversations – no matter how intimate users think they are – are not completely private.
The company behind Replika, Luka Inc, collects usage data from its users.
This includes your messages.
Luka Inc says it does this for its users’ protection, to help prevent fraud, criminal activity, and any wider misuse of its services.
The company also uses messaging data to improve its machine learning software, so that Replika AI continues to get better at sounding human – as well as boosting Luka Inc’s marketing strategies.
How much does Replika AI cost?
There is a free version, but to unlock all the features, Replika users have to pay £61.99 for a year’s Pro subscription, or £5.17 a month.
Replika Pro offers users the ability to chat with their own personal AI character in multiple languages, as well as play over 100 activities and games together.
Arguably the Pro package’s top feature is long-term memory, which helps makes the AI even more ‘real’ for users.
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