AI researchers build ‘future self’ chatbot to inspire sensible life choices

  • MIT researchers developed a chatbot that simulates a user’s older self to encourage long-term thinking and behaviour change.
  • The chatbot uses a user’s aspirations and aged digital profile picture to create a possible future self narrative.
  • Trials with volunteers showed that the chatbot can reduce anxiety and strengthen connections to future selves, improving life decisions.

Most of us, if not all of us, will occasionally have moments of existential confusion. At that time, we ache for a life coach to give us some suggestions. Ideally, the one is insightful and empathic and rich in wisdom. However, not all of us are blessed with the coach being around. Yet, the presence of ‘future self’ chatbot can fill the blank, giving us useful suggestions to address the problems.
–Audrey Huang, BTW reporter

Researchers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have created an AI-powered chatbot that simulates a user’s future self, aiming to promote long-term thinking and wiser behaviours. By engaging in conversations with an older digital version of themselves, users can explore different futures and make decisions that benefit their long-term wellbeing. Initial trials indicate the chatbot effectively reduces anxiety and enhances the connection to future selves, suggesting it could be a valuable tool for personal development.

MIT’s future self chatbot

The MIT has developed a chatbot that acts as a user’s older self, using AI to simulate conversations and provide insights. This innovative tool is designed to motivate users to consider their future selves when making current decisions, which may result in better life outcomes.

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How it works?

Users interact with the chatbot by answering questions about their life and aspirations, and by uploading a photo that is digitally aged to imitate their future self. The chatbot then generates synthetic memories and stories based on the user’s descriptions, creating a realistic dialogue that encourages reflection on long-term goals.

Its impact on users

Initial trials with 344 volunteers showed that engaging with the chatbot led to reduced anxiety and a stronger connection to future selves. This suggests that the tool could be effective in influencing users to make healthier lifestyle choices, focus on specific goals, and plan financially for the future.


Audrey Huang

Audrey Huang is an intern news reporter at Blue Tech Wave. She is interested in AI and startup stories. Send tips to

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