Computers and Human Feelings

Virtual Therapy

Many of the questions below are of the therapeutic applications field on how a program can help do the work of a therapist ?

With current AI levels, it is not imaginable to compare a bot to a human therapist expert level. Here the question is rather if a bot as therapist is completely absurd, or if it can help a little. The answer is neither of both extremes. A bot level is currently better than nothing, and all articles in the reference below try to prove if a bot is actually better than nothing. Well for such a non highly placed goal, the answer would be obviously yes, it can be better than nothing, how much ? from a scale of 1 to 100 ? Where 100 is a session with a professional therapist and 1 is talking to a wall ? Well talking to a wall is already not 0 but 1 as even someone talking to himself or alone to a virtual friend can help bring some thoughts out.

Random questions from a bot are then already useful, but the bots can do way better than random, so their efficiency is to my opinion not questionable. I nevertheless hardly can find a scale that can evaluate a bot on any other level between 2 and 99.

Turing test as an example is unfortunately of binary result 1 or 0.

If the Turing test would not suggest any special context, as you cannot assume if your hidden partner is an expert therapist, the bot therapist comparison would have to take the same test but with a therapy background, where two identical patients are treated by both a human therapist and a bot therapist and results are compared.


Q: What technologies can I use now or in the future to help myself get my emotional needs met?

No simple answer here as the list as long as the one of the needs. Technologies are useless for some and useful for others.

For example playing video games or watching a movie would definitely have an effect on the states of feelings before and after. But acceptance or appreciation is less relevant as long as we do not care what the game think of use, still someone could get happy when collecting medals from a video game.

Q: What current / future technologies would help me to shift my feelings from negative to positive?

  • Virtual Therapy, see references.

Q: What current / future technologies can we use to create a better group experience ?

  • Multi windows skype
  • Virtual reality with virtual presence of a group of persons
  • … to be develpped

Positive effects : (talking to each other, interactions)

Negative effects : (further isolation, no “touch”, or handshake)

Q: What technology will help me to build a local community, which intention is to help each community member to get their needs met?

Wide question, one example here is addressed : Bots humans collaboration. In step one the bot could help identify the pathological state and trigger an alert to a friend or a family member that would act only on demand to minimize the interaction time and maximize the effect. This of course sounds evil, as the drawback here is that relying on the bot monitor would bring less natural interactions that could have been there without the monitor.

Q: Will we have an AI capable to identify our needs before we do it ourselves?

Under-defined question, if interpreted as all our needs, then no, as there is no better model of a system than the system itself, so by the observer effect, the measure would be worse or altered than the one without the observation.  Now a more relaxed interpretation or rather how far could AI/Bots identify some of our needs better than we do ?

  • a simple clock alarm can remind us that we’re hungry by eating time model
  • A wearable nail measure our uv exposure.
  • The list would get longer with all metabolism regulatory elements due to deficiencies or as augmented ability.

Q: Will it suggest most effective strategies?

Most likely yes, for the case where it does it better than humans, the suggestions would also be better.

Q: Will there be a need for a local community at all?

The previous examples are helping augmented abilities to a base composed of human elements. So yes, there will be need for a “real” and “human” community as long as bots and robots are not of the same scale as humans. The question of what happens if bots or AI get smarter than humans in mostly all fields is addressed by the singularity phenomenon.


Will Bots be prescribed for healing ?

Talk to screens that listen

Feelings inventory

Needs inventory

Woebot (mood therapy application but linked to messenger, to check the anonymous android version -> rename to wysa a more human friendly name)

Eliza Open to direct chat in the browser.


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