Google is turning Bard into a life coach

You’re probably already letting AI autocomplete your sentences or choose what you watch next on Netflix… but would you lean on a chatbot to give you life advice? 

Driving the news: Per The New York Times, Google is testing new tools that could turn generative AI—the technology that powers chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s own Bard—into a life coach that advises on everything from your dating life to your career. 

Why it matters: While releasing a chatbot with coaching capabilities might seem like technology is uncomfortably creeping across personal boundaries, AI is already being used to help decision-making that was once (and not too long ago) reserved for humans… 

Yes, but: Google’s AI safety experts have warned of the dangers of people becoming emotionally attached to chatbots. If people take life advice from AI, they could grow too dependent and experience “diminished health and well-being” and a “loss of agency.”

  • For instance, Brian Johnson, an entrepreneur who spends $2 million a year trying to reverse his age, openly lets an algorithm make all his day-to-day health decisions.    

Bottom line: It’s too early to say whether Google will release these tools, but the company’s growing willingness to trust AI systems with sensitive tasks could be a slippery slope.—SB