Imagine your best friend Holly is in a horrible car accident and tragically dies. As grief overwhelms you and tears run down your cheeks, you pull out your smartphone. You send Holly a text telling her how much you miss her. Within seconds she responds with a funny cat meme—just like she always did. You start to laugh. After many more back and forth texts it feels like Holly is still alive. Or is she.
This isn’t a plot line from Black Mirror or an updated episode of the Twilight Zone. This technology exists today. It’s called AI, or artificial intelligence, and it is used to program chatbots.