Replika CEO Discusses AI Companionship

Replika is a dating app where users form a connection with a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence. Eugenia Kuyda, CEO of the platform, shares her perspective about this new kind of relationship.

Kuyda predicts that within 5 to 10 years, everyone will have a chatbot that knows about their personal life. In an interview with Fox News Digital, she said this technology will be the next big thing, “it’s going to be basically whatever the iPhone is for you right now”. 

She explained that when developing Replika, she envisioned a world “where I can walk to a coffee shop and Replika can walk next to me and I can look at her through my glasses or device. That’s the point. Ubiquitous”.

The idea for the platform came to Kuyda after the death of a friend. She went through their old text messages and developed a chatbot that would speak like her friend once did. This experience proved that this type of connection was possible.

The platform allows for users to customise their AI companion with preferred hairstyles, outfits, and names. The app has over 10 million users, according to Replika.

“Replika helped them with certain aspects of their lives, whether it’s going through a period of grief or understanding themselves better, or something as trivial as just improving their self-esteem, or maybe going through some hard times of dealing with their PTSD”, Kuyda shared.

Kuyda admits that AI companionship isn’t perfect, stating that in a perfect world nobody would need therapists or relationships with AI. 

Replika has in-built safeguards to prevent users from becoming too attached to their companions. After around 50 messages, the Replika companion becomes tired and prompts the user to take a break from chatting.

Image courtesy of Replika.

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