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Can you date a chatbot?


Computers can outperform humans at many basic tasks, including speedy calculations and board games like Go and Chess. However, many people wouldn’t put dating at the top of tasks entrusted to their computer.

Chatbots give users conversation close to human interaction.

For some, this means a more personal computer relationship.

Would you consider dating a computer?

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of internet users have said yes to this. Internet dating just got a new meaning.

MXIT had several ‘AI chatbots’, including Foo. Did you ever use any of Mxit’s chatbots? They were popular for breaking away from the chatrooms.

Now, there are dating bots. Believe it or not.

Here’s more about the new phenomenon.

Computers and chatbots

ELIZA was the first computer chatbot, designed as an AI therapist.

User input made ELIZA easy to speak to. Users enter questions, and ‘she’ responds with questions or answers.

It was an elementary version of ChatGPT.

ELIZA, however, wasn’t yet as advanced as some later programs.

She later inspired other, similar programs like PARRY and Alice.

It’s considered early chatbot technology. However, computers wern’t as ‘intelligent’ as they are today.

ChatGPT brings AI to the basic chatbot, making it smarter, and able to hold full conversations.

AI and computers: Modern chatbots

Original chatbots weren’t designed to be ‘intelligent’, but to respond simply to what users were saying.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has made chatbots more responsive – and they seem more humanlike.

There’s one difference: people are growing more attached to modern chatbots.

AI is a ‘companion’. Why not dating too?

Seems like fiction, but it’s reality for many.

Computers: Chatbots and people

Studies say that people are increasingly attached to chatbots.

Ther are ‘bots’ made for dating. Users say they develop real relationships with their ‘partners’ – even though they aren’t people.

Some users prefer their PC counterparts after claiming they haven’t met the right person.

You’re more likely to pay subscription fees, instead of paying for dates.

It’s happening internationally, according to ABC News.

Does it count as ‘online dating’ if you’re going out with an AI?

Would you date a PC?

Send us your thoughts

Tell us what you think! Send us your thoughts on this story at info@thesouthafrican.com. We love hearing from our readers at The South African, and this includes you!

READ MORE ARTICLES BY FRANCOIS JANSEN (ALEX J COYNE)

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