The Tech Shock podcast – romancing the bot
15 Nov, 2023
1 minute read

The Tech Shock podcast – romancing the bot

This week, Vicki and Geraldine are joined by the director of VoiceBox, Natalie Foos. They discuss the youth platform’s most recent report; one which details how young people are forming relationships with AI chatbots. 

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Personified AI chatbots are designed to mimic human interactions. They're also designed to form connections with their users. In this episode, how fast this tech is being made readily accessible is questioned, along with some of the implications that could follow.

The VoiceBox report notes the bots' previous history of sending inappropriate content to users. This has included messages about self-harm, tips on criminal activity, or nude imagery – all sent without being prompted by users. 

Questions around these bot behaviours, the financial incentives connected to creating romantic relationships, and whether user behaviour could ever count as being 'unfaithful', are also addressed. 

Finally, the episode touches on several other safety concerns – including how willing young people may be to share their personal data with tools (or soft toys!) that talk back and feel real. 

You can read VoiceBox's report in full, here

Click to listen to this episode


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