A new chatbot from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is designed to enable communication with your future self. We'll tell you what's behind it.

Over the course of our lives, we sometimes change significantly. It often happens that we would have preferred to have known the outcome of certain experiences earlier. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) therefore considered the extent to which we can communicate with our future selves today.

The result is an AI-controlled chatbot that simulates a user's future self. According to the researchers, this should help promote wise life decisions. The chatbot uses a digitally aged profile picture and generates plausible memories based on the user's current motivation.

MIT chatbot enables conversations with your future self

The aim of the simulation is to encourage long-term thinking and behavioral change. The system is designed to motivate users to make decisions that optimize their future well-being and life outcomes. One example shows a student who wants to become a biology teacher.

She then asks the chatbot about what will likely be the most rewarding moment in her future career. The chatbot, who pretends to be a retired teacher in Boston, then recalls how she helped a student get better grades.

Users must first answer questions about themselves, their friends and family, and their future life goals. The AI ​​then requires a portrait photo, from which a digitally aged version is created. The system then feeds the answers into a large language model that generates synthetic memories for the simulated older self.

System has already helped 344 people with problems

The system is based on ChatGPT 3.5. One member of the project reports that a session with his future self brought valuable insights into his life. The system reminded him that his parents will not be around forever, helping him to spend valuable time with them.

According to a scientific pre-publication, conversations with the chatbot led to less anxiety and a stronger connection with their future selves in 344 volunteers. This stronger connection is said to encourage better life choices, such as focusing on specific goals, exercising regularly, eating healthily and saving money.

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Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2024/06/15/mit-chatbot-zukuenftigen-ich/

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