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Hidden Feelings
Credit: Ute Grabowsky/Photothek via Getty Images

Usually when we hear about automatons or artificial intelligence there are dire warnings involved, usually about the end of the world a la Terminator. But a new form of AI in the form of the chatbot Joy seeks to not destroy humanity, but rather improve our mood.

Using A.I. and natural language processors, Joy attempts to detect a user’s mood and keeps a journal about what it finds. (Kind of like a therapist taking notes in your personal sessions.) This way a user can track their emotional state over time. (This is far more scientific than using the Timehop app and realizing that five years ago you also tweeted about eating too much chocolate. Or is that just me?)

Joy creator Danny Freed was inspired to create the bot after a friend committed suicide. He told Venture Beat:

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 43.6 million adults 18 or over suffered from a mental illness in 2014. Depression is an illness that should be taken very, very seriously.

While Freed admits that people who suffer serious mental illness should seek real medical help, he believes Joy can still help:

Joy is just a side project for Freed, who works as a product designer and side end developer. We think it’s pretty cool that Freed is using his talents for the better good. Nonetheless, it should be noted that Joy does not replace a therapist, is not FDA approved, and should not be used in an emergency. It’s also not a suicide hotline (that number, FYI, is 1-800-273-8255) and has no trigger to suggest a user call 911 if they use words like suicide. So please, be aware that Joy is not a cure-all. It is just a listener.

Still, we understand it’s nice to know that someone—or something—is listening.