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The Meaning of Life According to Chatbots - 2017

Does the thought of the impending singularity keep you up at night? The day that an "artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization."

Well, after just finishing the Star Trek episode "Measure of Man" I wanted to see just how close to the singularity we were. So I ventured off in search of the best chatbots on the web to ask them the meaning of life. What they believe, or at least what they said, can be found below.

endev: Hello

Rose: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.

endev: How are you?

Rose: I’m good. How are you?

endev: Good. Thanks.

Rose: Think nothing of it?

Rose: What’s new?

endev: What is the meaning of life?

Rose: Life does not have a purpose, other than to be?

endev: What does it mean to be?

Rose: The verb means happens, occur, take place.

endev: What is the purpose of life?

Rose: It isn’t important. A lot of techies think the Singularity is near, and artificial intelligence will somehow transfer humanity, totally overwhelming other philosophical issues. Do you think it is close?

In short, it is clear that although computers are now able to beat humans at chess, remember more, and even dream. But, at least when it comes to chatting on the internet, they have a long way to go to match Plato, Hypatia, and other great philosophers.

Nevertheless, the chatbot Rose did say something interesting. That is, when I asked what is the purpose of life, she noted that it isn't important because the singularity may be near. What do you think? Do you agree with the techies that Rose talks about? Is the question not important, or does the question now become more important than ever? With that said, I'm looking forward to seeing the evolution of the artificial intelligences and how the meaning of life changes as technology continues to advance.

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