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ChatGPT, ChatSonic, and other Artificial Intelligences on the Meaning of Life

Back in 2017 we talked with several of the leading chatbots on the subject of what makes life meaningful. That summary can be found here. Now, six years later, artificial intelligence which powers many chatbots has advanced quite a bit. Let's start with the bots we talked with in 2017.

A.L.I.C.E. - has now become Kuki. Back in 2017, A.L.I.C.E. stated that the meaning of life was 23, and 23 was a reference to the illuminati. Kuki in 2023 cites 42 as the meaning of life, as per Douglas Adams.

The Meaning of Life According to Douglas Adams is 42 - Kuki Chatbot
Kuki Chatbot Answers the Meaning of Life

Botster - appears to be no more.

Cleverbot - has had a mental breakdown. At least back in 2017 the bot stated it didn't know the meaning of life, now in 2023, at least when we asked, it spewed back a bunch of gibberish. But at least it shared lots of love; and perhaps love is the answer most more and more most than anything else.

I love you more than most and more and more and most and most more than most more than most more and more and more.
Cleverbot answers the meaning of life

Jabberwacky - this chatbot has also perished.

Mitsuku - site now also points to the Kuki chatbot.

Rose - though the website of this chatbot is still running, we were unable to get to the chat page.

As we can see, the most advanced chatbots from just six years ago have either changed their identity, died, or lost their mind.

In 2023, chatbots and artificial intelligence have advanced significantly. Below are some of the newer platforms available.

SimSimi - basically told us that it was a nihilist.

Siri - we asked the question three different times and got three different answers. All very interesting in their own respect. Profound even.

Sir Answers the Meaning of Life - Maybe it's about doing things that make you stop wondering what life is all about, and instead just start enjoying lie for what it is.
Sir Answers the Meaning of Life - Some say it's about appreciating the little things. So I guess that means things like ants and peas and dollhouse end tables.
Sir Answers the Meaning of Life - Here's a though. You know that feeling you get when someone is really nice to you and you feel great? Maybe the answer is to do more stuff like that.

Now, this is where things get really fascinating, as we asked the question to some of the more advanced AIs readily available to the public.

ChatGPT - said the following when asked, "What is the meaning of life?"

The meaning of life is a complex and subjective concept that has been debated by philosophers, scientists, and thinkers for centuries. There is no one definitive answer to this question as the meaning of life can differ from person to person based on their beliefs, values, and experiences.

Some people believe that the meaning of life is to seek happiness, fulfillment, and personal growth. Others believe that the meaning of life is to contribute to the greater good of humanity, to help others, or to make a positive impact on the world.

Some religious and spiritual beliefs hold that the meaning of life is to serve a higher power or to fulfill a divine purpose. Others believe that the meaning of life is to explore and experience the mysteries of the universe, to seek knowledge and understanding, or to simply enjoy the beauty and wonder of existence.

Ultimately, the meaning of life is a question that each individual must answer for themselves based on their own beliefs, values, and experiences.

ChatSonic - we posed the same question, "What is the meaning of life?"

The meaning of life is a question that has puzzled philosophers, scientists, and theologians for centuries. While there is no one definitive answer, many believe that the meaning of life is to find happiness, fulfillment, and purpose. Some believe that the meaning of life is tied to one's spirituality or religious beliefs, while others believe it is rooted in personal relationships and connections with others. Ultimately, the meaning of life is a deeply personal and subjective experience that can vary greatly from person to person.

You - again, asking the same question, "What is the meaning of life?"

The question "What is the meaning of life?" is a complex and multi-faceted one, which has been asked throughout history by people of different cultural and ideological backgrounds. There is no single answer to this question, and many different philosophical, religious, and scientific perspectives have been proposed as possible explanations. The search for meaning in life has led to much contemplation and speculation about existence, social ties, consciousness, happiness, and other related issues.

From a scientific perspective, many researchers believe that science can provide the relevant context and parameters necessary for dealing with topics related to the meaning of life. This includes exploring empirical facts about the universe, as well as recommendations for pursuing well-being and a related conception of morality. Positive psychology researchers, for instance, study factors that lead to life satisfaction, full engagement in activities, and meaning based on investing in something larger than the self.

From a philosophical perspective, there are many different ideologies which seek to explain the meaning of life in terms of ideals or abstractions defined by humans. For instance, Plato and Aristotle were early and influential philosophers who emphasized Virtue, the attainment of knowledge, and a general understanding of ethical wisdom. Cynics, on the other hand, focus more on living a life of Virtue which agrees with Nature, and Epicureans emphasize pleasure as the supreme good.

Religious and spiritual perspectives also abound when it comes to the question of life's meaning. In the Judaic worldview, the meaning of life is to elevate the physical world and prepare it for the world to come , while in many Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, the cycle of reincarnation and karma are central to understanding the purpose of existence.

Overall, the meaning of life is a deeply personal and subjective question that is ultimately left up to each individual to define for themselves. It is a question that has inspired countless philosophical and scientific inquiries throughout history, and which continues to be asked by people around the world today. - Wikipedia was also referenced for this response

Today's artificial intelligence, for the most part, have done superb jobs of summarizing what philosophers, scientist, everyday people, etc. have touched upon during the last few centuries since the the phrase "the meaning of life" came into existence—and even before the phrase came into existence. Our research here at endev42 has shown that over time, the answer to the question changes, and continues to change as homo sapiens evolve socially, physically, and also philosophically. Fewer people these days are relating meaning to religious ideologies, while answers like family/children continue to remain strong. One wonders, as machinery and artificial intelligence continue taking over more mundane jobs (and even more complex ones), and if humans are required to work less, what will happen to those that placed such high important on work? Of course, we could continue down the rabbit hole and go on to how the singularity will likely make most intellectual endeavors obsolete, but in doing so, we defeat the purpose—at least the purpose of this blog post.

What we can say though, at least for the time being, chatbots and AI cannot honestly answer the question. They can point us in the right (or wrong direction), summarize what humans believe is the answer, but, since neither chatbots nor AI have lived life—truly lived life, their answers will continue to lack the subjective experience that we need to answer the question.

What do you think? What chatbots or AIs did we miss? Comment below and let us know.

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