The topic of whether of not artificially intelligent social bots should be allowed into relationships is very widely debated. Some say yes, social bots are extremely useful when it comes to certain situations such as aiding in providing companionship or therapeutic services to people who are not too severely in need of help. Others argue that the idea of utilizing a fake person to help someone is totally wrong, simply because they are, in fact, artificial, and that’s totally unethical to allow people to depend on them for company or help in any way, shape, or form.
As for me, I think social bots are nothing less than awesome. I mean, yeah, I would be pretty pissed if I found out a person I had been romantically interested in or a ‘therapist’ who had been providing me help was a fake person, but if I knew ahead of time, what’s the big deal? I personally wouldn’t waste my time talking to a bot online to form any type of relationship if I knew that is truly was a bot, but if someone wants to, more power to them. No, a therapist you find online is absolutely, in no way, a substitute for an actual real-life one if you truly need professional help, just as a fake robot-relationship is not going to be the same as a living, breathing companion. However, why not utilize the services bots are capable of providing? Just as Jan Rezab states in his article Why Social Media Chat Bots Are the Future of Communication, bots are useful for several reasons. A lot of these reasons businesses find themselves being compelled to, because they make costumer service and other varying tasks just that much easier. So, long story short, bots are not the enemy. How we use them and whether or not the real identity of the bot is revealed is definitely where ethics come into play.