When Data has a Personality: Chatbots and Robots

Thursday, May 2, 2019 5:05 – 6 pm

Northern Illinois University
Altgeld Hall, 1st Floor, West End
595 College Ave.
DeKalb, IL 60115

Free & open to the public

Presented by Emeritus professor of history, Stephen Haliczer 

Both chatbots (systems designed to simulate human conversation) and robots (a device able to simulate human movements) are dependent on databases to function.At present both systems are mainly used for such mundane tasks as answering phone calls or vacuuming the carpets.  But advances in machine learning are making it easier and easier for chatbots and robots to become real companions to humans and to acquire a personality (or multiple personalities) in doing so. Mostly such companionship is benign and helpful but as both systems acquire more and more data about the humans they serve they may also assimilate human-like personality disorders. This presentation will explore the actual and potential expression of human like forms of excessive compulsive behavior in chatbots and robots and suggest ways that humans can cope with these disturbing syndromes.