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'Good Bot, Bad Bot': Episode I

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A snapshot at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. All of the objects you see here are robots. (Ben Brock Johnson/WBUR)
A snapshot at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. All of the objects you see here are robots. (Ben Brock Johnson/WBUR)

Find the original episode and a full transcript here.


Bots are everywhere. They're all over social media platforms, chatrooms, phone apps. These pieces of software — which are meant to imitate human behavior and language — influence our daily lives in sneaky, surprising ways.

In the first episode of Endless Thread's series "Good Bot, Bad Bot," co-hosts Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson delve into the history of ELIZA, the world's first chatbot therapist.

Why did this computer's creator have a lot of complicated feelings about the development of AI? Can AI help us cope with mental health issues?

Headshot of Amory Sivertson

Amory Sivertson Senior Producer, Podcasts
Amory Sivertson is a senior producer for podcasts and the co-host of Endless Thread.

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Headshot of Ben Brock Johnson

Ben Brock Johnson Executive Producer, Podcasts
Ben Brock Johnson is the executive producer of podcasts at WBUR and co-host of the podcast Endless Thread.

More…

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