Would your friends replace you with a bot?
One of the most common complaints we have from friends – “I don’t hear from you often enough”, and the number one excuse for this “I don’t have enough time”.
A lot of us suffer from ’low friend-time, high work-time’ and so I was very interested to see a recent article in the TechNews section of a national newspaper saying…
‘Chat bots developed to handle small talk with friends’
As my first career was in tech, I have a very keen interest in technology and how it can enhance our lives. I currently work with some cutting edge tech companies so it’s already in my mind how bots can be hugely beneficial in helping us connect and support our customer experience – hadn’t quite taken it as far as my friendship experiences though.
When I read the headline, the first question I wanted answered was ‘why’.
Q: Why on earth would we want a bot to handle small talk with friends?
A: Because we can’t be in two places at once
Of course the creator, Irene Chang had good reason to invent this bot, she doesn’t want her friendships to suffer just because she has to work when her friends don’t.
The solution for such a dilemma – let a bot handle the small talk for you, as if it is you. According to the article, it will learn to be you, using your style of writing and interaction, you’re frequently used phrases and emoji’s so it will on the surface appear to be you, but it’s not!
What if the future of friendships evolved to bots having conversation with each other and we are not involved at all?
For me, “computer says NO!”
How do you define friendship?
Henrik Edberg collated 74 quotes around friendship in The PositivityBlog at the beginning of the year.
My favourite 3 from his list:
- “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
– Winnie the Pooh
- “Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.”
– Ally Condie
- “One’s friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human.”
– George Santayana
While I wholeheartedly embrace the automation of certain activities as it definitely helps make our busy lives easier, these quotes remind me that there are some human connections that should never ever be replaced by anything automatic.
When I think of the friendships I am so very lucky to have, it is crystal clear that our relationships could never ever be automated. The ability to enter into a dance of conversation and deep understanding, built on a long history of dancing together through every type of rhythm and beat we experienced along our path together, that unspoken rhythm that happens in silence and speaks volumes – 100% human.
Connecting with our friends in these conversations, however short or small, is where we experience some of the deepest moments and memories of joy.
May is a brilliant time to clear the path to your friends so you can connect more easily and keep your relationships in full bloom.
“Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net
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