Jess provides surprisingly good relationship counselling.

Jess is an AI-based personal assistant in robotic form. This excellent documentary shows Jess counselling nine couples with a range of relationship problems. Good, clear commentary is provided by a small group of computer scientists and psychologists. Her big advantage appears to be her access to huge amounts of personal data through her patients’ social media, internet usage etc. But her effectiveness is not just her data mining ability. Her simple design and direct questions, delivered calmly, appear to allow her patients to connect easily with her. The fact that she is not a person appears, if anything, to be a help rather than a hindrance. It reminded me of the speed with which banking customers switched to ATMs from human tellers.

As an aside, this was a much better programme than another Channel 4 programme on robots, specifically driverless cars, on 26 November. The 26 November programme was dumbed-down and delivered in that annoying cheeky chappie way that poor quality documentaries seem to love.

Link to programme:

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