If you’ve ever wanted the chance to talk to any late public figures, the opportunity appears to have presented itself.
NBC News reports that Historical Figures, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, has launched.
The app allows users to chat with robots, who are emulating well-known people.
The outlet details that Historical Figures — created by a 25-year-old Amazon software engineer Sidhant Chadda — uses GPT-3 technology to tap into the perspectives of 20,000 historical figures.
On the website Boxden, one user shared the conversation they had with The Notorious B.I.G. Among their questions, they asked whether he “still got love” for Tupac.
“Absolutely, it’s been a few years since his passing and I miss him every day but he lives on through his music,” the message wrote. “Pac was one of the hardest working guys in the rap game, he put out classics like ‘Changes’ and ‘Dear Mama’ that will never be forgotten. We had similar upbringings so l always felt a kinship with him and strived to do my best in honour of him. That’s real talk!”
When asked about Tupac’s diss, the chatbot responded: “You know what, that’s just part of the game. I never took things too personally in my career and neither did Pac, so although we had our differences at times it was all just business for me. At the end of the day, he respected my hustle and talent and have nothing but respect for him. We’ll always have a special bond through music.”
While the new app has piqued people’s interest, there has also been opposition. Along with the likes of Biggie, Historical Figures allows individuals to talk to people like Adolf Hitler.
“Having pretend conversations with Hitler — and presumably other well-known antisemites from history — is deeply disturbing and will provide fodder for bigots,” Yael Eisenstat, the vice president of the ADL’s Center for Technology and Society, said in a statement, per the outlet.
“We hope the developers will revisit how they design their product and consider removing Hitler and other Nazi figures entirely, so that the technology is not abused or used to spread antisemitism,” he added.
According to Chadda, his app is on top of tracking harmful messages.
“If I detect that the model’s output is racist, sexist or hateful in content, I actually omit the response entirely,” he said.
Additionally, he admits there’s a lot more work to do.
“The biggest problem with the technology is that it is often wrong, and when it is wrong, it is confidently wrong. And that is something that is not good in education,” Chadda said, according to the outlet.
Still, he says it is receiving interest from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, but pushback from Apple.
According to NBC News, the company requested Historical Figures remove the late Steve Jobs from the app.
What’s more, Jobs had previously spoken about the idea of an app based on Aristotle in 1985.
“My hope is someday — when the next Aristotle is alive — we can capture the underlying world view of that Aristotle in a computer and someday, some student…will be able to ask Aristotle a question and get an answer,” Jobs said, NBC News reports.
As of Jan. 25, users were posing around 4,000-5,000 questions every 15 minutes, Chadda shared. And it’s only available on Apple devices.