Artificial intelligence is probably the hot topic in technology circle right now, with questions being raised worldwide about how AI might conceivably affect the very future of the human race. In the short term, however – definitely as far as its impact on young people is concerned – the clearest risk is almost certainly the AI-powered ‘virtual friends’ which are springing up all over the internet.
There’s Replika and Kuki, for instance, while Snapchat has recently got in on the act with My AI – and search engines like Bing and Google have developed their own versions.
Are these machine intelligences suitable online companions for young people? What are their limitations and weak spots?