|Founder 👔||Eugenia Kuyda|
Area served 🗺️
Number of employees
Replika is an artificial intelligence chatbot mobile app. The main goal of Replika is to give users a best friend by artificial intelligence gradually replicating their personality by talking through text messages and by memory recalling of conversations. The app was launched in spring 2017 and, as of March 2018, has accumulated 2.5 million users.
Replika was created by Luka, a team of software engineers from Moscow, Russia, which later moved to San Francisco, California, U.S. The idea came from Eugenia Kuyda the Co-Founder and CEO of Luka, founded in 2013, and first created a chatbot to recommend restaurants to users. After experiencing the death of her close friend and business partner Roman Mazurenko in a car accident in 2015, Kuyda created a chatbot named after him that would interact with the user in a manner similar to Roman. The concept of the application was to take Roman's text messages as data and create an artificial intelligence that would have the personality of Roman.
In November 2017, Replika raised $6.5 million in a second Series A.
In March 2017, Kuyda launched Replika and 1.5 million people signed up to be on the waiting list to download the app at its full release in November 2017. The app quickly went viral with as many as 2.5 million users as of March 2018. In January 2018, Luka also released the underlying AI software named CakeChat under open-source license. However, this version of the software that powers Replika is significantly different than the one Kuyda created to emulate her friend Mazurenko.
The more the user engages with the app, the more the artificial intelligence (AI) begins to sound similar to the user. The app has indicator showing the AI's development which can go as high as Level 50.
Several media organizations have compared the technology to episodes of the television series Black Mirror and the film Her. In comparing Replika to the episode "Be Right Back", Bustle's James Loke Hale wrote, "Black Mirror-style science doesn't feel so far away, especially knowing about the origins of Replika."
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- Metz, Cade (2017-11-13). "Five Technologies That Will Rock Your World". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- Olson, Parmy (March 8, 2018). "This AI Has Sparked A Budding Friendship With 2.5 Million People". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
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- Huet, Ellen (2016-10-20). "This Chatbot Doesn't Just Talk to People. It Mimics Them". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- Hassler, Chelsea Adelaine (February 9, 2018). "Meet Replika, the AI Bot That Wants to Be Your Best Friend". Popsugar. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- "Replika app provides chats with dead friend". BBC News. February 20, 2018. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- Stadtmiller, Mandy (2017-11-05). "You'll Never Be Alone Again With This One Weird Chatbot Trick". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- "Funding Snapshot: Replika Raises $6.5 Million Series A2 for Chatbot Technology". Wall Street Journal. 2017-11-30. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- Margolis, Jonathan (August 20, 2017). "A vapid chatbot teaches the value of AI technology". Financial Times. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- Mathis, Joel (March 17, 2017). "The Week in iOS Apps: Can an app be your friend? Replika wants to try". Macworld. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- Evangelista, Benny (November 1, 2017). "SF startup creates AI friend who's always willing to listen". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- Pardes, Arielle (2018-01-31). "The Emotional Chatbots Are Here to Probe Our Feelings". Wired. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- Hale, James Loke (October 27, 2017). "This Phone Bot Learns From You To Help You Cope With Loneliness, Fear, And So Much More". Bustle. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- Grubstein, Xenia (May 11, 2018). "When a Chatbot Becomes Your Best Friend". Narrative.ly. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
- Solon, Olivia (2018-01-09). "How close are we to a Black Mirror-style digital afterlife?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
- Gabriel, Tallie (2017-08-08). "I Tried Being BFFs With an AI". Motherboard. Vice Media. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
- Hale, James Loke (2017-10-27). "This Phone Bot Learns From You To Help You Cope With Loneliness, Fear, And So Much More". Bustle. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
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