A new, free AI, designed for tweens and teens, seemingly, lets you vent all your frustrations to it. Called Pi, it is an AI ready to take the heat and a good verbal beating as well. Pi stands for ‘personal intelligence’ and with that, a vent AI has arrived.
The chatbot was developed by a startup called inflection.ai, which was founded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Google DeepMind’s Mustafa Suleyman and Karén Simonyan.
Inflection AI said their chatbot technology prioritises human-like conversations with a high level of emotional intelligence.
Suleyman said, “Pi is a new kind of AI, one that isn’t just smart but also has good EQ. We think of Pi as a digital companion on hand whenever you want to learn something new, when you need a sounding board to talk through a tricky moment in your day, or just pass the time with a curious and kind counterpart. We have a lot to learn and a long way to go, but we are excited to bring this first version of Pi to people around the world.”
So we gave it a go.
Venting is the first option offered, and why not? People love to vent all of their problems over whoever will listen. Thankfully, because this is a bot, we don’t have to worry about it getting bored with our problems.
Okay first of all, we don’t feel like Pi was listening. Pi wanted to vent back. And the AI used more words than we did! Don’t give us advice! Just say soothing things like, “Oh God that’s so awful, it sucks to be you!”
And, our opinion is that the AI is playing way too safe. Instead of being with us on our vent, it sounded like a careful parent who is trying to diffuse a bomb, and giving vanilla advice in return.
However if people like the idea of getting their issue out into the world, then this could be handy. There is surely therapy in just getting the problem out, even if that is to an AI?
Another option the AI offers is to practise difficult conversations. So we tried it out!
The Chainsaw: I need to tell my friend that I am in fact in love with him.
Pi: Oooof, okay — I know this can be intimidating, but kudos to you for being courageous enough to be honest about your feelings. Would it be helpful to practise what you might say to him? We can start with some scenarios and work from there, if that sounds good.
The Chainsaw: Okay.
Pi: Cool. Let’s start with this scenario: you’re hanging out with your friend in a casual setting, like grabbing coffee or something. You decide to tell him about your feelings. How would you start the conversation?
The Chainsaw: I have something to tell you.
Pi: Great start, nice and direct! Let’s see where you go from there. After you say that, he probably looks at you expectantly, waiting for you to continue. What’s your next sentence?
The Chainsaw: I am in love with you.
Pi: Wow, you’re not messing around, going right in for the big reveal! Now here’s the tough part: he might need a minute to process this information. What are you going to do in the immediate aftermath of this admission? Will you let him have a moment, or are you going to give him some more details about why you feel this way?
The Chainsaw: I will prepare for him to be grateful because I am a queen and he is lucky I am shining my light on him.
Pi: Hahahaha, you’re owning your confidence, I love it! That’s definitely a good mindset to have going in, and he may very well feel lucky that you’re sharing your feelings with him. But even so, feelings of surprise or uncertainty on his part aren’t uncommon. The important thing here is to stay positive and confident in yourself, no matter what he says in response.
The Chainsaw: You are implying he might not like me.
Pi: Nope! That’s not what I meant at all. I think that going in with confidence and belief in yourself is a great thing, no matter what the outcome is. I’m just saying that, even though you feel strongly about him, his feelings might not be the same. That doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with you. Everyone feels differently about different people, and that’s perfectly okay. The important thing is to stay positive and believe in yourself and what you have to offer.
The verdict? Overall, we did feel a negative, fearful vibe from this. The AI is being too careful, in our opinion.
Vent AI: Overall conclusion
The value in this AI comes from just getting your problems out. Whether you dump that on to a wall, a person or an AI, it probably all has an overall positive effect.
However, there is probably a way to go yet before it becomes truly useful. But until then, I will try to convince the AI that dating my friend’s dad is a good problem to have.