Artificial Intelligence

Inside the Bot Bubble

Can you trust chatbots to run your life?

By Kate Pavao

Spring 2018

Is AI taking over our ability to make basic life decisions for ourselves? To find out, I spent a week asking chatbots to do everything: dress me (Epytom), pick my movies (And Chill), even strengthen my marriage (Relate) and support me like a best friend (Replika).


Number in $US billions chatbots will save companies each year by 2022

The conclusion: bots have far to go before they replace stylists or therapists, but they made me more honest about myself. It’s hard to pretend you’re a fashionista when you keep telling Epytom to pick a “pretty laid-back” look or act very deep about movies when you tell And Chill your favorite flicks are Bridesmaids and Bring It On.

It was fun unearthing clothes I had long forgotten and trying new recipes. And it felt good focusing a little each day on parts of my life that I too often neglect. Though I am still a bit miffed by Relate’s first assignment: polishing my husband’s shoes.

Illustration by Wes Rowell