Eliza*, All Grown Up
The first robot psychologist has hung his/her/its shingle out:
People affected by emotional problems are often reluctant when they’re told to see a psychologist. Now, they can confidentially consult online MindMentor, the first robot psychologist. It will cost them â‚¬4.95 for one hour session (or about US$7.65 as of today). MindMentor has been developed by two Dutch psychologists specialized in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). The system was tested on 1,600 ‘customers’ from over the world and 47% of them said they were satisfied after only one session. I haven’t tested the system myself, but one thing is really interesting. Instead of looking at a database, MindMentor uses a personal process to discover the right solution with you.
“The absolutely unique feature of MindMentor is, that there is no real psychologist working behind the scene, but that MindMentor, by asking smart questions, addresses the unconscious mental resources of the client. With help from his colleagues RoboRorschach (projective testing) and ProvoBot (provocative humor), MindMentor can provide a solution or new perspective in a session of about an hour.”
The official MindMentor site is here.
*The reference in the title is to ELIZA, an early intelligent computer program, variously described as a simulation or parody of a Rogerian psychologist. ELIZA influenced many of the computer games that were to follow it and, arguably, all of today’s modern computer and game console games.