Artificial intelligence is getting better and better at mimicking humans. One artist and programmer even managed to connect with her younger self.

Who wouldn’t want to go back in time to talk to their former self, just out of curiosity or to give some good advice? Michelle Huang has succeeded – at least in a certain way. The artist, who describes herself as a “creative programmer” on Twitter, was able to ask questions and get answers from a younger version of herself.

For this she needed two things: an old diary and an artificial intelligence. Huang still has her diary from her teenage years. From this she selected a total of 40 entries that she had written between the ages of seven and 18. “I’ve kept a journal for more than a decade of my life and I’ve written down almost everything – dreams, fears, secrets,” she told Business Insider.

Questions for the younger me

She fed these texts to an artificial intelligence. Until the AI ​​could communicate with her as if she were talking to herself. As Huang reports, she wrote most of her entries between the ages of 10 and 14. So when she started asking the AI ​​questions, it was like interacting with her teenage self.

Among other things, Huang asked her younger self if she felt she was putting too much pressure on herself. The answer: “Yes, I definitely push myself too hard sometimes. I think it’s important to strive for excellence, but I think it’s also important to be kind to yourself. I still practice, to find that balance.” Statements like these are “incredibly similar to what I would have answered back then,” Huang wrote in amazement on Twitter.

A lengthy conversation ensued between today’s Michelle and a few years ago. “I told her she was loved, sure someone cared about her. Those were the words my former self always wanted to hear,” says Huang. “It felt like I could go back in time and hug it tight.”

A “healing” experience

Then Huang asked her former self to write her a letter. She was again amazed by the result: “She said that she is proud of me and the person I have become.” In that moment, the feelings of shame and disappointment that sometimes overcome her “melt a little”: “For years I was haunted by the metaphorical question: ‘Would your eight-year-old self be proud?’ Hearing my inner child say, ‘I’m proud of you’ was healing.”

This experience showed her that there are parts of her personality that have stayed the same, but also parts that she has suppressed and buried. Using her method, she sees great technical possibilities through artificial intelligence: “Imagine entire digital personalities that you can engage with and that are based directly on yourself. Or characters in computer games that are directly based on writers, poets and public speakers based on history and fiction.”

Sources: Michelle Huang on Twitter / “Business Insider”

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