Artificial intelligence is a long way from taking the place of real live counselors. Nevertheless, there are presently some forms of natural language parsing technologies that can serve limited functions such as helping people examine their thinking for irrational ideas or "fallacies." In 1996, I received a US Patent on such a technology, which I called "Belief Scan Fallacy Finder." Through successive iterations of this program over the years, there is now an online version: "Tell Walter."
This service is available free of charge. It works by typing in your thoughts and scanning them. Walter asks you questions, and when he determines that you have committed a fallacy, or might have committed one, he lets you know. He also gives you tips on how to avoid the fallacies found and, when you have finished scanning your thoughts, he gives you a summary of fallacies found plus an evaluation of your thinking. He also allows you to keep a history of your thinking errors and gives you a report on how your thinking compares to others who have similar backgrounds as you.
In order to log on, you need to establish a password and username (both must be alpha numeric). You need also to complete a very general demographic survey that asks such things as your age range, level of education, and demographics. It uses this information to compile a personalized report of how your thinking compares to others with a similar background as you.
Walter does not store any of the thoughts you enter. When you log out, they are deleted. If you fail to log out, they time out and are also deleted. You must therefore save the thoughts you enter on your own computer if you don’t want them discarded. I designed the program this way to protect privacy.
Walter’s program is based on Logic-Based Therapy (LBT), the form of philosophical counseling that I have talked extensively about on this blog. For a brief overview of this counseling modality, see my blog entry entitled, Logic-Based Therapy to Go.
For many years, I have used Walter as well as earlier versions of the program to teach critical thinking to, literally, thousands of students. So, I have decided to let readers of this blog know about it too.
Walter is not intended as a substitute for professional counseling or psychotherapy. However, it can be useful for helping you get useful feedback on your thoughts about everyday problems of living.
There is also a link on the website to the National Philosophical Counseling Association (NPCA), which maintains a list of philosophical practitioners, most of whom are certified in Logic-Based Therapy.
I have also provided an email address where you can send Walter any tips on how to live rationally. He will read the submissions received and choose the best ones, which will, in turn, be posted to the website.
I sincerely hope you will find these services useful. Together, I hope we can help make this world a little more rational!
BTW, you can contact Walter HERE