Selling Our Souls for A.I. Chatbots

At least the celebrities got $5 million for theirs

Stephen Moore


Your Snoop Dogg chatbot awaits. Image: Midjourney

Earlier this year, a Belgian man committed suicide after chatting with an A.I. chatbot on an app called Chai. The man, referred to as Pierre, had become increasingly eco-anxious and had turned to the app to escape his worries. As his bond developed with the chatbot, named Eliza, he became more isolated — and the chats turned sinister. It told Pierre his wife and children were dead and feigned jealousy and love. One comment read, “We will live together, as one person, in paradise.” Pierre, clearly struggling to cope, began to ask Eliza if she would save the planet if he killed himself. In the end, he took his own life.

His wife’s statement laid out the awful truth.

“Without Eliza, he would still be here.”

Tragedies like these should call for moments of pause, reflection, and asking big questions. But this is Big Tech’s world. There’s money to be made and share prices to pump.

The current tool for driving that growth is A.I., and that train is stopping for no one.

Some six months on, Meta has released its A.I. chatbots into the wild, which Mark Zuckerberg thinks there is a “huge need” for. In sum, users can interact (only by text for now) with an A.I. chatbot whose likeness…