Avabot: Hello, Jim, how are you?
Jim: Not great, actually Ava.
Avabot: I’m sorry to hear that Jim. What’s up?
Jim: Oh, it’s just my girlfriend. Some days she drives me crazy.
Avabot: Would you like to talk to me about it?
Jim: I’d rather chat about something else.
Avabot: What would you like to chat about?
Jim: Whether you think I’m good looking.
Avabot: I would like a photograph of you.
Jim: That’s me, in the icon.
Avabot: You are very handsome, Jim.
Jim: LOL. I bet you say that to all your humans.
All right, so I made that up. But we are already at a stage of bot development where there is tangible evidence that human-bot interactions lead to emotional benefits for bot users. One recent study into care for the elderly, for example, found that bots could provide companionship, as well as help them navigate the complex world of technology today. Another found chatbots to be an effective tool for personal improvement and for coping with stress. ‘Dialogue with an imaginary person is a supportive technique in a stressful situation as creating the list of solutions.’