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New AI App Allows Users To Communicate With Legendary Historical Figures

In January, a new Artificial Intelligence technology officially launched in the app store. It is already generating controversy mainly because the app has a no-holds-barred approach when it comes to allowing the worst of the worst historical figures.


The app is called “Historical Figures,” allowing users to communicate with well-known historical figures. Everyone is accessible to communicate, from religious leaders to personalities such as German tyrant Adolf Hitler, US President Abraham Lincoln, and ruthless conqueror Julius Caesar.


I even had the chance to download it and give it a shot. But instead, I decided to chat with three historical figures, James K. Polk, Hideki Tojo, and Pope Pius XII.


The conversation with the U.S. president, Japanese politician, and the head of the catholic church were fascinating. I asked them about their worst actions during their life, and they apologized. But I noticed that their statements were historically inaccurate like the app warned. Such as Pope Pius XII denying his role in not preventing the Holocaust and Hideki Tojo denying that he ever hated the United States.


Many critics voiced their opinion about the app and how it shouldn’t be in children's hands. One critic, Zane Cooper shared screenshots from his conversations with multiple chatbots on his Twitter. For example, in one of Cooper’s conversations, he confronted Henry Ford’s chatbot on the documented instances of Ford’s antisemitism.


The user addressed the chatbot about when Ford used to print antisemitic stories in the newspaper he owned, "Dearborn Independent". Despite these proven incidents of Ford being antisemitic, the Ford chatbot repeatedly denied ever having hated Jewish people.


The chatbot said that while the articles were wrong to publish, they didn’t reflect Ford’s personal view. Cooper remarked that this inaccurate information was frightening and how harmful it could be for the newer generation. He warned how the technology should be far away from the classroom.


While the innovation of AI technology can benefit society, the inaccuracies in Historical Figures are an excellent reminder that we shouldn’t rush the process in creating new programs. We should be careful when dealing with new technology and consider its influences.


When I talked with the James K. Polk chatbot, I told him I was upset with him because he led the country into war with Mexico in 1846 under false pretenses. The chatbot replied by saying that he never lied and the war was essential for American interests. 


Users of the app aren’t the only ones upset by its chatbots either. The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement, “Having pretend conversations with Hitler — and presumably other well-known antisemites from history — is deeply disturbing and will provide fodder for bigots.” 


The app's creator, Sidhant Chadda, issued a statement in defense of the technology. He talks about how people are being unrealistic with expectations for the responses.


“People expect these historical figures to be truthful, but in reality, people are not always 100% honest.” he continues “The politician is going to give a political answer in response, and that can create problems, but I think that’s more honest from the historical perspective.”

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Tags: #AI #Technology #HistoricalFigures


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