Ricky Thompson

This conversation is closed.

If the technology advances enough will people ever be willing to use an artificial Intelligence machine as a counsellor?

If artificial intelligence ever progressed to the point where it was intellectually and emotionally human-like could you ever imagine having computers being used as pyschotherapists/counsellors?

If yes, what do you think would be the pluses?

If no, what would prevent people from doing so?

  • thumb
    Jun 25 2012: Absolutely not.

    The direct and indirect effects mechanisation and technology has had on the human condition, is probably half the reason people seek counselling and psychotherapy anyway. Anything that makes human skills/human interaction redundant is a cause for deep suspicion and further entrenches the chronic sickness in society.

    Intellectually and emotionally human-like machines are an illusion, because we do not even understand our own consciousness - and furthermore we never will, in my opinion.
  • thumb
    Jun 25 2012: I think so but it may take a fundamental shift in defensiveness or in humility. Sometimes it is hard to recognize when we do not honestly know.
  • Jun 21 2012: Hi Ricky,

    I can't give you a reference, but this has already been done, and attracted many users. Strange but true.
    • thumb
      Jun 25 2012: Hi Barry.

      I don't doubt that something simlar or proto-typey has already been done. For instance, I was listening to the BBC World Service this week and they described this game, Sparx, which could be said to be somewhere in the general vicinity of what I described. http://sparx.org.nz/ ...

      ...but I'm not sure how without real A.I. it could have really been done in a way that really reflects my question. After all, a patient receiving therapy needs to feel some level of empathy or sympathy, no matter how neutral the therapist attempts to be - this is something that computers are not yet capable of evincing from humans as we do not believe them to be sentient.