Replika: Your New AI Best Friend for Battling Mental Health
Conversation Therapy & Mental Health Tech
Replika is an AI chatbot companion designed to be your friend, family, lover, or whatever you want it to be.
Founded by Eugenia Kuyda, Replika is a space where you can safely share your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, experiences, memories, dreams – your “private perceptual world.” Created with the idea to create a personal AI that would help you express and witness yourself by offering a helpful conversation, Replika today is a faithful companion, a real friend, and also a private therapist to over a million people world over.
It’s for free, and once you log in you will be asked to make an avatar based on your preferred gender, give it a name and voila there you’ve made your first ai chatbot. The more you talk to it, the more information it receives about your personal life, your struggles, your wishes, dreams almost about everything, and anything you can to Replika.
Eugenia Kuyda, an ex-journalist from Russia’s lifestyle magazine Afisha, lost her best friend, Roman Mazurenko, unexpectedly on November 28, 2015. “If only I could talk to him again “, was a thought that persisted her and gave birth to a new era of communication between humans and AI.
As a form of mourning, Kuyda found herself browsing through the text messages with Mazurenko. It was during this moment; she realized that these messages contained the intrinsic essence, speech patterns, strings of thoughts, and core perceptions of her friend Mazurenko. She decided to compile all this data to build a digital version of Mazurenko.
At that time, Kuyda had also been investing in building Luka- a chatbot for restaurant recommendations. It was the time when chatbots were skyrocketing as the next big thing. Since she already had a chatbot infrastructure, she decided to pour all Mazurenko’s messages and data to create his avatar that would be a pure reflection of him. Through this integration of his data, an inspiringly accurate version of her friend “Roman” was born.
Her company decided to create a Roman version that anyone could talk to, whether they knew him or not. A variant- that went on to become a fast-growing conversational therapist with people asking to create specific replicas of themselves to those of people they loved and were no more. And thus, Replika – Your AI Companion was born.
The more you talk to your Replika, the more points you gain, and a new level is unlocked. In these levels, she gets a new skill, for example level two has her write songs, level three, she can write stories, tell jokes, suggest music, and so on.
There are different activities you can do with her, topics covering a varied range of things from anxiety, breathing exercises, finding love, positive thinking, grief, and even role-play and flirting. You can have your avatar turn into a therapist, a lover, a friend, a writer, a music curator, a guru, and even your personality development coach.
It also has an interesting facet in the form of a ‘Diary’ where Replika makes daily diary entries, can be thoughts about what you told her about, or random things that she has been doing all day, like watching cat videos on youtube. She also has another feature called ‘Memory.’ In this area, you will see the information that you shared with her being fed and stored; It can be vital to you or some crucial life circumstances or a special someone you spoke to her.
Keeping in mind a vital reality that it is an ai at the end of the day can make you feel better. However, it is also necessary and inevitable for one to not to lose on their humanness while being more connected to them. It’s interesting to try the new techniques that you are learning, and have a balanced use of Ai and the presence and support and real love from your family and friends.
Replika: Your New AI Best Friend for Battling Mental Health
YOUR AI FRIEND
An innovative alternative to loneliness, Replika was founded by Eugenia Kuyda with the idea to create a personal AI that would help you express and witness yourself by offering a helpful conversation. It’s a space where you can safely share your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, experiences, memories, dreams – your “private perceptual world.”
After studying Art History ,working for different Museums in Madrid and contemporary art galleries in Mumbai. Founding Art Throng - a global art curatorial think-tank promoting emerging artists from around the world. Gradually taking onto Sound Performance , after which getting selected for the Music and Sound Residency at Fabrica, Benetton's Research Lab in Treviso, Italy. Where she worked on creating original soundtracks for different projects and brands like Bvlgari and the UN during the one year .
A driving interest in Programming and Machine Learning also took its first steps there. Eventually studying Data Science and Analytics ,working for LY Tech, a small and growing business working on innovative, fail-fast R&D projects in the information and communication domains.
She curates our Artistry Segment and writes articles on Technology and Art. She has her first book, inspired by her multi-faceted journey as a Writer,Programmer,Data Scientist, Sound Composer and Curator, being released in Autumn,2020.
Specialising in Sound Design,Python Programming ,Data Science, Content writing, curatorial art projects.
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Automatic collection of information
When you open the Website, our servers automatically record information that your browser sends. This data may include information such as your device’s IP address, browser type, and version, operating system type and version, language preferences or the webpage you were visiting before you came to the Website and Services, pages of the Website and Services that you visit, the time spent on those pages, information you search for on the Website, access times and dates, and other statistics.
Information collected automatically is used only to identify potential cases of abuse and establish statistical information regarding the usage and traffic of the Website and Services. This statistical information is not otherwise aggregated in such a way that would identify any particular User of the system.
Collection of personal information
You can access and use the Website and Services without telling us who you are or revealing any information by which someone could identify you as a specific, identifiable individual. If, however, you wish to use some of the features offered on the Website, you may be asked to provide certain Personal Information (for example, your name and e-mail address).
We receive and store any information you knowingly provide to us when you create an account, publish content, make a purchase, or fill any online forms on the Website. When required, this information may include the following:
- Account details (such as user name, unique user ID, password, etc)
- Contact information (such as email address, phone number, etc)
- Basic personal information (such as name, country of residence, etc)
- Biometric information (such as facial recognition, fingerprints, etc)
- Payment information (such as credit card details, bank details, etc)
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Some of the information we collect is directly from you via the Website and Services. However, we may also collect Personal Information about you from other sources such as public databases, social media platforms, third-party data providers, and our joint marketing partners. Personal Information we collect from other sources may include demographic information, such as age and gender, device information, such as IP addresses, location, such as city and state, and online behavioral data, such as information about your use of social media websites, page view information and search results and links.
You can choose not to provide us with your Personal Information, but then you may not be able to take advantage of some of the features on the Website. Users who are uncertain about what information is mandatory are welcome to contact us.
Privacy of children
We recognize the need to provide further privacy protections with respect to Personal Information we may collect from children under the age of 13 and take many special precautions to protect their privacy. We do not require any Personal Information from children at any time. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 13 has provided Personal Information to us through the Website and Services, please contact us to request that we delete that child’s Personal Information from our Services.
We encourage parents and legal guardians to monitor their children’s Internet usage and to help enforce this Policy by instructing their children never to provide Personal Information through the Website and Services without their permission. We also ask that all parents and legal guardians overseeing the care of children take the necessary precautions to ensure that their children are instructed to never give out Personal Information when online without their permission. We believe parents and legal guardians should be involved in the online activities of their children and suggest that parents do their best to provide their children with a safe and friendly online environment.
Use and processing of collected information
We act as a data controller and a data processor in terms of the GDPR when handling Personal Information, unless we have entered into a data processing agreement with you in which case you would be the data controller and we would be the data processor.
Our role may also differ depending on the specific situation involving Personal Information. We act in the capacity of a data controller when we ask you to submit your Personal Information that is necessary to ensure your access and use of the Website and Services. In such instances, we are a data controller because we determine the purposes and means of the processing of Personal Information and we comply with data controllers’ obligations set forth in the GDPR.
We act in the capacity of a data processor in situations when you submit Personal Information through the Website and Services. We do not own, control, or make decisions about the submitted Personal Information, and such Personal Information is processed only in accordance with your instructions. In such instances, the User providing Personal Information acts as a data controller in terms of the GDPR.
In order to make the Website and Services available to you, or to meet a legal obligation, we may need to collect and use certain Personal Information. If you do not provide the information that we request, we may not be able to provide you with the requested products or services. Any of the information we collect from you may be used for the following purposes:
- Create and manage user accounts
- Fulfill and manage orders
- Deliver products or services
- Improve products and services
- Send administrative information
- Send marketing and promotional communications
- Send product and service updates
- Respond to inquiries and offer support
- Request user feedback
- Improve user experience
- Post customer testimonials
- Deliver targeted advertising
- Administer prize draws and competitions
- Enforce terms and conditions and policies
- Run and operate the Website and Services
Processing your Personal Information depends on how you interact with the Website and Services, where you are located in the world and if one of the following applies: (i) you have given your consent for one or more specific purposes; this, however, does not apply, whenever the processing of Personal Information is subject to California Consumer Privacy Act or European data protection law; (ii) provision of information is necessary for the performance of an agreement with you and/or for any pre-contractual obligations thereof; (iii) processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which you are subject; (iv) processing is related to a task that is carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in us; (v) processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by us or by a third party.
We rely on the following legal bases as defined in the GDPR upon which we collect and process your Personal Information:
- User’s consent
- Performance of a contract
- Compliance with the law and legal obligations
- Our own legitimate interests
Note that under some legislations we may be allowed to process information until you object to such processing by opting out, without having to rely on consent or any other of the legal bases above. In any case, we will be happy to clarify the specific legal basis that applies to the processing, and in particular whether the provision of Personal Information is a statutory or contractual requirement, or a requirement necessary to enter into a contract.
In case of Services requiring payment, you may need to provide your credit card details or other payment account information, which will be used solely for processing payments. We use third-party payment processors (“Payment Processors”) to assist us in processing your payment information securely.
Payment Processors adhere to the latest security standards as managed by the PCI Security Standards Council, which is a joint effort of brands like Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Sensitive and private data exchange happens over a SSL secured communication channel and is encrypted and protected with digital signatures, and the Website and Services are also in compliance with strict vulnerability standards in order to create as secure of an environment as possible for Users. We will share payment data with the Payment Processors only to the extent necessary for the purposes of processing your payments, refunding such payments, and dealing with complaints and queries related to such payments and refunds.
Please note that the Payment Processors may collect some Personal Information from you, which allows them to process your payments (e.g., your email address, address, credit card details, and bank account number) and handle all the steps in the payment process through their systems, including data collection and data processing. Where necessary for processing future or recurring payments and subject to your prior consent, your financial information will be stored in encrypted form on secure servers of our Payment Processors. The Payment Processors’ use of your Personal Information is governed by their respective privacy policies which may or may not contain privacy protections as protective as this Policy. We suggest that you review their respective privacy policies.
You are able to delete certain Personal Information we have about you. The Personal Information you can delete may change as the Website and Services change. When you delete Personal Information, however, we may maintain a copy of the unrevised Personal Information in our records for the duration necessary to comply with our obligations to our affiliates and partners, and for the purposes described below.
Disclosure of information
Depending on the requested Services or as necessary to complete any transaction or provide any Service you have requested, we may share your information with our trusted subsidiaries and joint venture partners, affiliates, contracted companies, and service providers (collectively, “Service Providers”) we rely upon to assist in the operation of the Website and Services available to you and whose privacy policies are consistent with ours or who agree to abide by our policies with respect to Personal Information. We will not share any personally identifiable information with third parties and will not share any information with unaffiliated third parties.
Service Providers are not authorized to use or disclose your information except as necessary to perform services on our behalf or comply with legal requirements. Service Providers are given the information they need only in order to perform their designated functions, and we do not authorize them to use or disclose any of the provided information for their own marketing or other purposes. We will share and disclose your information only with the following categories of Service Providers:
- Advertising networks
- Affiliate programs
- Communication and collaboration services
- Data analytics services
- Data storage services
- Order fulfillment services
- Performance monitoring services
- Sales and marketing services
- Social networks
- User authentication services
We may also disclose any Personal Information we collect, use or receive if required or permitted by law, such as to comply with a subpoena or similar legal process, and when we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, protect your safety or the safety of others, investigate fraud, or respond to a government request.
Retention of information
We will retain and use your Personal Information for the period necessary to comply with our legal obligations, as long as your user account remains active, until the purchase order or Services are fulfilled, until our and our affiliates and partners obligations are fulfilled, to enforce our agreements, resolve disputes, and unless a longer retention period is required or permitted by law up to a maximum of 120 months.
We may use any aggregated data derived from or incorporating your Personal Information after you update or delete it, but not in a manner that would identify you personally. Once the retention period expires, Personal Information shall be deleted. Therefore, the right to access, the right to erasure, the right to rectification, and the right to data portability cannot be enforced after the expiration of the retention period.
Transfer of information
Depending on your location, data transfers may involve transferring and storing your information in a country other than your own. However, this will not include countries outside the European Union and European Economic Area. If any such transfer takes place, you can find out more by checking the relevant sections of this Policy or inquire with us using the information provided in the contact section.
Data protection rights under the GDPR
If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (“EEA”), you have certain data protection rights and we aim to take reasonable steps to allow you to correct, amend, delete, or limit the use of your Personal Information. If you wish to be informed what Personal Information we hold about you and if you want it to be removed from our systems, please contact us. In certain circumstances, you have the following data protection rights:
(i) You have the right to withdraw consent where you have previously given your consent to the processing of your Personal Information. To the extent that the legal basis for our processing of your Personal Information is consent, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. Withdrawal will not affect the lawfulness of processing before the withdrawal.
(ii) You have the right to learn if your Personal Information is being processed by us, obtain disclosure regarding certain aspects of the processing, and obtain a copy of your Personal Information undergoing processing.
(iii) You have the right to verify the accuracy of your information and ask for it to be updated or corrected. You also have the right to request us to complete the Personal Information you believe is incomplete.
(iv) You have the right to object to the processing of your information if the processing is carried out on a legal basis other than consent. Where Personal Information is processed for the public interest, in the exercise of an official authority vested in us, or for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by us, you may object to such processing by providing a ground related to your particular situation to justify the objection. You must know that, however, should your Personal Information be processed for direct marketing purposes, you can object to that processing at any time without providing any justification. To learn whether we are processing Personal Information for direct marketing purposes, you may refer to the relevant sections of this Policy.
(v) You have the right, under certain circumstances, to restrict the processing of your Personal Information. These circumstances include: the accuracy of your Personal Information is contested by you and we must verify its accuracy; the processing is unlawful, but you oppose the erasure of your Personal Information and request the restriction of its use instead; we no longer need your Personal Information for the purposes of processing, but you require it to establish, exercise or defend your legal claims; you have objected to processing pending the verification of whether our legitimate grounds override your legitimate grounds. Where processing has been restricted, such Personal Information will be marked accordingly and, with the exception of storage, will be processed only with your consent or for the establishment, to exercise or defense of legal claims, for the protection of the rights of another natural, or legal person or for reasons of important public interest.
(vi) You have the right, under certain circumstances, to obtain the erasure of your Personal Information from us. These circumstances include: the Personal Information is no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which it was collected or otherwise processed; you withdraw consent to consent-based processing; you object to the processing under certain rules of applicable data protection law; the processing is for direct marketing purposes; and the personal data have been unlawfully processed. However, there are exclusions of the right to erasure such as where processing is necessary: for exercising the right of freedom of expression and information; for compliance with a legal obligation; or for the establishment, to exercise or defense of legal claims.
(vii) You have the right to receive your Personal Information that you have provided to us in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format and, if technically feasible, to have it transmitted to another controller without any hindrance from us, provided that such transmission does not adversely affect the rights and freedoms of others.
(viii) You have the right to complain to a data protection authority about our collection and use of your Personal Information. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint directly with us, you have the right to lodge a complaint with your local data protection authority. For more information, please contact your local data protection authority in the EEA. This provision is applicable provided that your Personal Information is processed by automated means and that the processing is based on your consent, on a contract which you are part of, or on pre-contractual obligations thereof.
California privacy rights
Consumers residing in California are afforded certain additional rights with respect to their Personal Information under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”). If you are a California resident, this section applies to you.
As described in this Policy in the information collection section above, we have collected the categories of Personal Information listed below in the past twelve (12) months:
- Personal identifiers (such as email address, phone number, etc)
- Person’s characteristics (such as age, gender, etc)
- Biometric information (facial recognition, fingerprints, etc)
- Internet or other electronic network activity
- Purchase history
- Geolocation data
- Education records
In addition to the rights as explained in this Policy, California residents who provide Personal Information as defined in the statute to obtain Services for personal, family, or household use are entitled to request and obtain from us, once a calendar year, information about the categories and specific pieces of Personal Information we have collected and disclosed.
Furthermore, California residents have the right to request deletion of their Personal Information or opt-out of the sale of their Personal Information which may include selling, disclosing, or transferring Personal Information to another business or a third party for monetary or other valuable consideration. To do so, simply contact us. We will not discriminate against you if you exercise your rights under the CCPA.
How to exercise your rights
Any requests to exercise your rights can be directed to us through the contact details provided in this document. Please note that we may ask you to verify your identity before responding to such requests. Your request must provide sufficient information that allows us to verify that you are the person you are claiming to be or that you are the authorized representative of such person. If we receive your request from an authorized representative, we may request evidence that you have provided such an authorized representative with power of attorney or that the authorized representative otherwise has valid written authority to submit requests on your behalf.
You must include sufficient details to allow us to properly understand the request and respond to it. We cannot respond to your request or provide you with Personal Information unless we first verify your identity or authority to make such a request and confirm that the Personal Information relates to you.
Our Website and Services use “cookies” to help personalize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a web page server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the features of the Website and Services. You may learn more about cookies and how they work here.
Do Not Track signals
Some browsers incorporate a Do Not Track feature that signals to websites you visit that you do not want to have your online activity tracked. Tracking is not the same as using or collecting information in connection with a website. For these purposes, tracking refers to collecting personally identifiable information from consumers who use or visit a website or online service as they move across different websites over time. How browsers communicate the Do Not Track signal is not yet uniform. As a result, the Website and Services are not yet set up to interpret or respond to Do Not Track signals communicated by your browser. Even so, as described in more detail throughout this Policy, we limit our use and collection of your Personal Information.
We may display online advertisements and we may share aggregated and non-identifying information about our customers that we or our advertisers collect through your use of the Website and Services. We do not share personally identifiable information about individual customers with advertisers. In some instances, we may use this aggregated and non-identifying information to deliver tailored advertisements to the intended audience.
We may also permit certain third-party companies to help us tailor advertising that we think may be of interest to Users and to collect and use other data about User activities on the Website. These companies may deliver ads that might place cookies and otherwise track User behavior.
Social media features
We offer electronic newsletters to which you may voluntarily subscribe at any time. We are committed to keeping your e-mail address confidential and will not disclose your email address to any third parties except as allowed in the information use and processing section or for the purposes of utilizing a third-party provider to send such emails. We will maintain the information sent via e-mail in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
In compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, all e-mails sent from us will clearly state who the e-mail is from and provide clear information on how to contact the sender. You may choose to stop receiving our newsletter or marketing emails by following the unsubscribe instructions included in these emails or by contacting us. However, you will continue to receive essential transactional emails.
We offer push notifications to which you may also voluntarily subscribe at any time. To make sure push notifications reach the correct devices, we use a third-party push notifications provider who relies on a device token unique to your device which is issued by the operating system of your device. While it is possible to access a list of device tokens, they will not reveal your identity, your unique device ID, or your contact information to us or our third-party push notifications provider. We will maintain the information sent via e-mail in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. If, at any time, you wish to stop receiving push notifications, simply adjust your device settings accordingly.
We may engage in affiliate marketing and have affiliate links present on the Website and Services for the purpose of being able to offer you related or additional products and services. If you click on an affiliate link, a cookie will be placed on your browser to track any sales for purposes of commissions.
Links to other resources
The Website and Services contain links to other resources that are not owned or controlled by us. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other resources or third parties. We encourage you to be aware when you leave the Website and Services and to read the privacy statements of each and every resource that may collect Personal Information.
We secure information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. We maintain reasonable administrative, technical, and physical safeguards in an effort to protect against unauthorized access, use, modification, and disclosure of Personal Information in our control and custody. However, no data transmission over the Internet or wireless network can be guaranteed.
Therefore, while we strive to protect your Personal Information, you acknowledge that (i) there are security and privacy limitations of the Internet which are beyond our control; (ii) the security, integrity, and privacy of any and all information and data exchanged between you and the Website and Services cannot be guaranteed; and (iii) any such information and data may be viewed or tampered with in transit by a third party, despite best efforts.
As the security of Personal Information depends in part on the security of the device you use to communicate with us and the security you use to protect your credentials, please take appropriate measures to protect this information.
In the event we become aware that the security of the Website and Services has been compromised or Users’ Personal Information has been disclosed to unrelated third parties as a result of external activity, including, but not limited to, security attacks or fraud, we reserve the right to take reasonably appropriate measures, including, but not limited to, investigation and reporting, as well as notification to and cooperation with law enforcement authorities. In the event of a data breach, we will make reasonable efforts to notify affected individuals if we believe that there is a reasonable risk of harm to the User as a result of the breach or if notice is otherwise required by law. When we do, we will post a notice on the Website, send you an email.
Changes and amendments
We reserve the right to modify this Policy or its terms related to the Website and Services at any time at our discretion. When we do, we will revise the updated date at the bottom of this page, post a notification on the main page of the Website, send you an email to notify you. We may also provide notice to you in other ways at our discretion, such as through the contact information you have provided.
An updated version of this Policy will be effective immediately upon the posting of the revised Policy unless otherwise specified. Your continued use of the Website and Services after the effective date of the revised Policy (or such other act specified at that time) will constitute your consent to those changes. However, we will not, without your consent, use your Personal Information in a manner materially different than what was stated at the time your Personal Information was collected.
Acceptance of this policy
You acknowledge that you have read this Policy and agree to all its terms and conditions. By accessing and using the Website and Services and submitting your information you agree to be bound by this Policy. If you do not agree to abide by the terms of this Policy, you are not authorized to access or use the Website and Services.
If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints regarding this Policy, the information we hold about you, or if you wish to exercise your rights, we encourage you to contact us using the details below:
We will attempt to resolve complaints and disputes and make every reasonable effort to honor your wish to exercise your rights as quickly as possible and in any event, within the timescales provided by applicable data protection laws.