"Replika is a texting app designed to start as a digital version of a daily personal diary, letting people record their innermost thoughts, for their eyes only. But unlike a lifeless pen-and-paper diary, Replika’s artificial intelligence can start a conversation with thought-provoking questions such as “What’s something that made you laugh today?” and “When’s the last time you spent some quality time alone doing nothing?” MORE BY BENNY EVANGELISTA Scott Anderson, the chief customer officer at SyncThink and former director of sports medicine at Stanford, demonstrates the Eyesync optical scanner in Palo Alto, Calif. on Thursday Oct. 26, 2017 which tracks eye movements to determine if there's a level of impairment. If Warriors star Steph Curry gets a head injury, virtual reality Features in the Razer Phone are designed specifically for game play. Gamer gear maker Razer jumps into smartphone market against From right: Store manager Matt Martinez organizes merchandise at ThinkGeek, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, in San Francisco, Calif. ThinkGeek, the longtime online store for everything geek, opened its first brick-and-mortar outlet on the lower floor of GameStop, which is the owner of ThinkGeek. The store is located at 830 Market Street. ThinkGeek, a haven for pop-culture nerds, opens in San Francisco Over time, the app can learn about the owner’s likes, dislikes and personality, to always “be there to help you process and unpack some of your feelings and thoughts and emotions,” said Luka co-founder and CEO Eugenia Kuyda. “If you feel sad, it will comfort you, if you feel happy, it will celebrate with you,” Kuyda said. “It will remember how you’re feeling, it will follow up on that and ask you what’s going on with your friends and family.” On the surface, confiding in a robot might sound like part of the quirky, creepy plot of a science fiction movie depicting a future society when humans only interact with machines. Spike Jonze’s 2013 “Her” gave a glimpse of this. But having a computerized personal confidant isn’t so outlandish considering how people use similar technologies to get through their day, whether it’s emoji that offer a shorthand for emotions, computerized assistants that schedule in-person meetings or smart-home speakers that control lights and locks, said Ben Pring, co-author of the book “What to Do When Machines Do Everything: How to Get Ahead in a World of AI, Algorithms, Bots, and Big Data.” That being said, Pring said Replika users might want to be cautious about entrusting their entire personal lives to a computer program that can be hacked."
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