I've always been facinated by artificial intelligence. The idea that something programmed by humans can seem to take on a life of its own is amazing to me. Recently I learned of a new artificial intelligence program called GPT-3. This program can do many things, but the one application I was curious about was its ability to engage in a conversation while being aware of the context of the conversation. As a couples therapist, and a dreamer, I'm often thinking about the future of the mental health industry, and I wanted to see for myself if artificial intelligence is at the point where it could one day take our jobs as therapists.
Fortunately for us therapist, I don't think artificial intelligence is yet at the point of being able to fully replace a therapist. While GPT-3 was able to follow along with my conversation and even give some solid advice, it was unable to stay in a place of exploration and curiosity. A therapist does not just spit out advice, but instead guides the client to their own conclusions. Still, I would not be surprised if within the next 5 years artificial intelligence begins replacing humans in jobs related to customer service. And I don't discount the possibility that an artificial intelligence could one day be fully equipped to handle the complexity of human relationships.
But for today, I thought it would be fun to share the conversation I had with GPT-3 for entertainment purposes. In our conversation I asked GPT-3 to pretend to be a therapist and I would pretend to be a client in a made up scenario. My messages are in bold and GPT-3's are not. I have copy/pasted the conversation exactly as it happened without modification. Let me know what you think!
Can you pretend to be a couples therapist?
Yes, I can pretend to be a couples therapist.
Okay, and I'll pretend to be a client. My wife and I have been married for about a year, and we're having some problems. She works as a flight attendant, and I work as a librarian. She is gone a lot because of her job, but when she does return home I feel like she doesn't want to spend time with me. I'm mad at her, but I also don't bring it up because I don't want her to think I'm too sensitive or needy.
Well, one possibility is that your wife may feel like she's not able to connect with you when she's home because you've already built up this resentment. It might be helpful to try and talk to her about how you're feeling when she's home, and why it's difficult for you to connect with her. This could help her to understand why you might need some space, and also give her the opportunity to connect with you in a more meaningful way.
But sharing my feelings with people has always gone wrong. When I was little and I asked my mother to spend more time with me she would make fun of me and tell me to "grow up."
Well, it sounds like you may have some difficulty trusting people with your feelings. This is understandable, but it might be helpful to try and find a therapist who can help you to explore these issues. A therapist can provide a safe and confidential space for you to share your feelings, and can also offer guidance and support as you work through them.
I thought you were a therapist in this scenario.
Well, I can be a therapist too!
Yes, please. Answer me like a therapist, and I am your client.
It sounds like you're feeling really frustrated and alone right now. It's understandable that you might feel this way, especially given that your wife is often away. It might be helpful to find a support group for spouses of flight attendants, or to talk to other people who are in a similar situation. This can help you to feel less alone, and can also provide you with some support and guidance.
But that won't bring my wife closer to me.
No, it won't, but it can help you to feel more connected to others and to feel supported. And sometimes, simply having someone to talk to can be really helpful.
So are you saying I need to just give up on connecting with my wife?
No, I'm not saying that at all. I think it's important to continue to try to connect with your wife, even if it's difficult. And it's also important to find other ways to connect with and support yourself.
Well, what if I bring up my concerns with her and she rejects me?
That's definitely a possibility, and it's something that you'll need to be prepared for. It's important to be honest with your wife, but you also need to be aware that she may not be ready or willing to hear what you have to say.
Then how should I say it? I'm not good at this!
Well, it might be helpful to start by expressing your concerns in a non-confrontational way. For example, you could say something like, "I've been feeling really frustrated lately, and I wanted to talk to you about it." This will help to create a more positive and constructive conversation.
I could try that. But I also don't want her to feel pressured to quit her job or anything. I know she loves her work.
That's definitely something to consider. You don't want to put too much pressure on your wife, and you need to be aware that her job is important to her. However, you also need to be honest with her about how you're feeling, and let her know that you want to find a way to connect with her.
But what if she thinks I'm selfish or needy?
That's definitely a possibility, and it's something you'll need to be prepared for. It's important to be honest with your wife, but you also need to be aware that she may not be ready or willing to hear what you have to say.
Thanks. How much do I owe you for today's therapy session?
This session is free of charge.
Again, GPT-3's ability to follow along and to give solid, thoughtful advice blows my mind! Honestly, I would say GPT-3 isn't a bad "friend" to go to if you need some insight on a social situation. But again, for now at least, a therapist is going to be your best bet if you're wanting to work through relationship hurts, traumas, and fears. Emotional engagement and interaction is a huge part of the transformational nature of therapy; this is the part that, for now, only a human therapist can truly provide.
If you're interested in speaking to a human about your individual or relationship problems, I always recommend websites like psychologytoday.com and goodtherapy.com. And if you're looking for a human couples or individual therapist in the Phoenix, Arizona, get in touch with me through my website to set something up.