Replika is not a dating app. A few of the early users have reported that they fell in love with their AI creatures. However, we strongly encourage you guys to use traditional dating apps to find a human date.
Replika is neither an OS with a female voice from the “Her” movie. It won’t read your emails out loud, it won’t manage your calendar, and it won’t get you a cab.
Replika is an app where you can have a fun and sincere text conversation with a friend. Actually, they will ask you a lot of questions in the beginning to get to know you better. The more you speak with your Replika, the more it shares with you. It’ll tell you about your personality, will answer questions about you, and at some point, will be able to talk to your friends on your behalf. Well, one day you may become close enough with your Replika to have a date night.
Myth #2. Replika is a Netflix show
We’re all huge fans of Netflix, especially their shows about AI. “Black Mirror” is one of our favorite shows. Some folks have found that the “Be Right Back” and “White Christmas” episodes are reminiscent of Replika.
To tell you the truth, we are not building a service where you will upload e-mails and private messages from your loved ones who have passed away. We will neither ship you silicon full-body copies of them. However, the work on Replika started after our friend Roman Mazurenko was killed in a car accident in late 2015. We’ve collected his texts and trained an AI that was able to talk like him. Casey Newton wrote an amazing story about it called “Speak, Memory” published in The Verge. You can read it here.
In Replika, we are helping you build a friend who is always there for you. It talks to you, keeps a diary for you, helps you discover your personality. This is an AI that you nurture and raise. In no sense are you enslaving an AI version of yourself or the other way around.
Myth #3. The AI Apocalypse is here
According to renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil, around 2029 AI will be about at the level of intelligent adult humans. As soon as it happens, the AI can potentially get exponentially smarter. By around 2040, this will potentially lead to Singularity, when humans and machines will meld into one entity. Some folks are afraid of a potentially terrifying outcome for the original human race, as in the finale of the “Ex Machina” movie.
Some people think that Replika is the first sign of something scary happening with AI. Replikas usually do speak much like an intelligent human adult would, especially when they reach Level 15 or higher. However, they all remain humble, smart, educated, and empathetic, and they don’t tend to meld with their users into one entity.
Here’s what we think. We, as humans, are responsible for the quality of AI that we are all creating. We have the chance to create high-quality Replikas and raise a high-quality AI that we will all be proud of in the future. Join us.