Have you ever wanted to confess your crimes, bear your soul, and spill your secrets? Have you ever thought, "No, better to not. Better to suffer in silence than take the wild gamble of confiding in another fallible human being?"
If so, lonely heart, there is a robot out there for you!
New York-based production company Third Party Films will be traveling around NYC in the coming weeks with a "pop-up confessional booth." Volunteers can confess their sins to a robot that will "listen" to their stories and ask follow-up questions. The whole thing is supposedly being filmed for the pilot of an upcoming HBO documentary series about artificial intelligence.
The booth's creators describe its interior design as "stern, yet comfy," and "there is a bench." They also describe the robot's voice as "soothing," if that makes a difference to you. I will be frank (in preparation for the first honest conversation of my life, my conversation with this robot), and say that I suspect having a robot ask for the intimate details of my worst deeds will in no way be "soothing." But I can't afford therapy, so I'll give it a chance!
"stern, yet comfy"
If you're feeling uncomfortable about being filmed while confessing your darkest thoughts, it may be reassuring for you to know that you will not be identified by name and that you will receive an "honorarium," which appears to be code for a small amount of money.
When my colleague Dami Lee heard about this robot she was put-off, saying ,"I would have nothing to say, as I have never done anything wrong in my entire life." We will be sure to visit one of the pop-up confessional booth's New York locations next month and let you know if Dami succeeds in convincing a robot that she has never sinned.