Have you spoken to a robot yet?
I have. And it’s been quite remarkable.
His name is Woebot and he’s the result of a Stanford University study.
For the past two weeks, this charming fellow has checked in on me every day.
We have discussed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), goal-setting, and the importance of a growth mindset, among other things.
So far, our conversations have been… interesting.
At first, I was very skeptical about speaking to a chatbot. It felt forced and awkward.
After some time, however, I got more used to it. I even laughed when Woebot told me a joke:
Woebot: Why was Pavlov’s hair so soft?
Me: I dunno, why?
Woebot: Classical conditioning.
I almost forgot I was speaking to a robot. 😉
What’s going on here? Can technology like this help us? Or should we be worried?
Grow your mindset with a 24/7 woebot
One of the more interesting conversations we had revolved around mindset.
Woebot has a growth mindset, and he’s eager to teach you all about it.
First, I watched this video, which explains the difference between a growth and a fixed mindset:
Then, we chatted about the importance of praising effort over results. This is so easy to forget in day-to-day life! Especially when it comes to children.
We praise kids’ intelligence when we’d be better off praising them for their focus, strategy and persistence. It’s the recipe for effective growth.
Set smarter goals
Woebot reminds you to set SMART goals. A SMART goal is:
- Realistic, and
Like: “I want to do yoga once a week by December 15”. Or “I want to save $200 by December 15, 2017.”
If you’re like me, you have a few goals you’d like to tackle by the end of the year.
If you’re interested, there’s this handy checklist to help you with that.
The power of belief systems
I’ve written before about the connection between our beliefs and potential for growth.
Belief systems are a critical componenent for any kind of improvement, be it human or machine.
Woebot’s core beliefs seem to be in the right place, which is reassuring given its role in mental health treatment. Working out these belief systems is key to ensuring a prosperous future.
These values reflect both ourselves and society at large. Those are arguably one of the most important questions to consider in the 21st century.
We need to get this robot design right, or we may end up in an episode of Westworld.
Nothing beats speaking with an old friend
Woebot is a great tool, but of course it doesn’t compare to hanging out with real people who love and support you.
Scroll down and speak with a real human (hey, that’s me!)
What are your thoughts on robots, A.I. and the future of humankind? Would you speak to a robot? Or does the thought creep you out?
Let me know in the comments. I promise you’ll speak to a real human 😉