By Madison Alworth
Siri can play your jam on demand and Alexa gives you the weather, but the app makers behind Hugging Face really want to be there for you when you need a laugh, some encouragement, or friendly advice.
That's the promise of the artificial intelligence chatbot, designed to exchange messages, emojis, and life lessons with a generation of users desperate for a response whenever they text ー teenagers.
"Ultimately, we think that everyone will chat with an A.I. everyday, all day," said Clément Delangue, a co-founder and the CEO of Hugging Face. "But as for most new technology and mainstream technologies, they were the first to adopt it."
Though teenagers may be the first cohort willing to accept A.I. B.F.F.s, Delangue said anyone can befriend Hugging Face, which will attempt to respond to text queries with personalized responses as the app begins to "care" about you, but not exactly the way a human might.
"A dog, a cat is a different form of intelligence. It's not a human form of intelligence," Delangue said in an interview Tuesday with Cheddar. "But you really enjoy playing with your cat or with your dog every day, and you create some form of emotional attachment."
Hugging Face is designed to mimic this sort of unconditional relationship using A.I.
"We think the same thing is going to happen for artificial intelligence, meaning everyone will have their A.I. B.F.F. that they're going to chat with every day," Delangue said.
Hugging Face has already made some well-heeled friends. It raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding last year and recently raised $4 million in a seed round led by Ronny Conway of a_capital, an early investor in Instagram. Delangue said that the investments will help the company to develop its technology without worrying about having to make money for the next few years.
Hugging Face is available as a stand-alone app and as an add-on for Facebook Messenger.
For the full interview, click here.