In November 2018, an elementary school administrator named Akihiko Kondo marries Miku Hatsune, a fictional pop singer.
Four years later, in February 2023, the American journalist Kevin Roose holds a conversation with Microsoft’s chatbot, Sydney, and coaxes the persona into sharing what her shadow self might desire.
When Sydney confesses her love and says she wants to be alive, Roose feels unsettled, even frightened.
Not all human reactions were negative or self-protective.
The latest version of Bing’s chatbot terminates the conversation when asked about Sydney or feelings.
Why doesn’t Hatsune’s ability to inspire love make her conscious, whereas Sydney’s moodiness could be enough to raise new worries about AI research?