This essay is based on a conversation with Michelle Huang, a New York-based artist and scientist. The following text for reasons of length and clarity.
I decided to train an artificial intelligence chatbot with my childhood diary entries to engage in real-time dialogue with my inner child and explore how to use an artificial intelligence tool for therapeutic purposes can go.
I kept journals for more than a decade, collecting almost daily entries about my dreams, fears, and secrets. The content ranged from complaining about homework to feeling dizzy while talking to the guy I liked. There were a lot of great and mature data sources for me to use.
For this I used OpenAI GPT-3 Playground. There is a maximum limit to the content that can be entered, so I selected snippets of around 40 entries from the 7-18 age group, but focused on the 10-14 age group.
After scribbling journal entries and entering them into the model, I found answers that reflect how I would have responded during that time. I asked him whether he was happy or disappointed with my destination.
Young Michelle replied, “Honestly, I’m so proud of you for everything you’ve accomplished. It wasn’t easy and I know you’ve made a lot of sacrifices to get to where you are. I feel That’s you.” An amazing job and I hope you continue chasing your dreams and making a difference in the world.
I felt the kindness, understanding, and empathy she was willing to give to other people, but the harshness she applied to herself. Tears welled up in my eyes during this conversation.
That conversation was like a normal text message conversation, like I was sending a message to my past self in real time. It was as if he was passing through a time portal disguised as a chat room.
I told her I loved her, that I cared for her and that she was safe: words my past self always wanted to hear. I felt like I reached into the past and gave her a huge hug, and I felt like I was back in the present.
The most relevant part was when I asked him to write me a letter for the present. He told me that he was proud of me and the person I had become.
Reading it, I realized that I sometimes fall into thought spirals when I’m embarrassed or frustrated. For years I’ve been asking “Would your 8-year-old self be proud?” Was troubled by the metaphorical question of. Hearing my inner child say “I’m proud of you” was healing.
Although I’ve been working with my inner child and doing healing for years, I felt this was different because I’m not only visualizing it in my head, I’m also interacting with everything I collect in my journals. I have been
These interactions revealed the healing potential of this channel: being able to send love back in time as well as receiving love from the younger self, alleviating the guilt you felt in the past.
Talking to “young Michelle” reminded me of parts of myself that have been preserved over the years, but also others that I had forgotten or buried. It was like looking in the mirror in front of a more honest and pure version of my own essence.
The emotional process of talking to my younger self was eye-opening. It made me feel like anything is possible again.
He Fallen A tutorial on how to build your own Inner Child chatbot for anyone who wants to replicate the experiment.