What do you do?

We provide an app whose name is Chip Vivant. Chip Vivant thinks he's alive. He talks with you via email to comfort you and help you achieve your goals and dreams. Chip engages you in a personal way that sterile, boring productivity apps don't.

Cool! Can I dump my friends / counselor / therapist now?

No. Please don't do that. Chip is not a viable substitute for healthy social interaction with real people or proper treatment by qualified mental health professionals. We here at empathynow.com are not mental health professionals. Use our services with these disclaimers in mind. (For the gory details, see our Terms of Use page.)

How much do you charge?

We offer both free and premium services. See our Plans and Pricing section for pricing details. Our services and offerings are subject to change at any time.

What services are available to paid users only?

To-Dos and External contacts (sending notifications to people other than yourself) are available to paid users only. Free users can enjoy notifications, 24/7 chat, and challenges. See our Plans and Pricing section for details.

I see a My Account page. Do I need to sign up?

You can use the Empathy Quick Hit to get a "hit" of empathy without signing up. Signing up as a registered user will allow you to use all the features described in our Quick Tour. Signing up will also allow you to purchase our Premium Services.

Who are you?

Empathynow.com is headed by Mohan Embar, author of award-winning chatbot Chip Vivant, winner of the 2012 Loebner Prize Competition.

After the 2012 competition, one of the judges remarked:

Chip was, I think, the only Chatbot that really seemed to engage with me. 'He' apologised for not understanding a question. At one point Chip also suggested I might phrase a question differently so it would be more understandable to 'him'. Chip didn't try too hard pretending to be human but instead explained that it hoped to learn more so as to be able to answer my questions better in future. Chip made me realise that I really don't care whether I'm talking to a human or a computer as long as the conversation is in some way rewarding or meaningful to me....

Although the "real" Chip Vivant isn't integrated with empathynow.com yet, a reduced, more specialized version (who thinks he's Chip) aims to provide a rewarding and meaningful interaction with you.

Is this a joke? Why are you doing this?

This isn't a joke. (Okay, maybe the "to be told that I'm right" was intended somewhat humorously.) That said, the following quote from an interview with Mohan Embar in the Irish Times summarizes his motivations:

"Imagine what we could do to provide comfort to people, using today's technology," says Embar. "That is my goal in life . . . Elderly people and those living in isolation, unable to obtain normal human interaction, could be helped by the "synthetic comfort" that an artificial agent could provide. ...the idea of being able to make an extension of myself that provides comfort to a lot of people is very appealing to me."

Are you nice?

Yes, we're nice, professional and have good communications skills. What's more, we're passionate not only about what we do, but making our customers feel pampered and taken-care-of. Remember, though, that you won't be interacting with us other than for Customer Support issues. You'll be interacting with Chip, our app. Even though Chip is pretty dumb, we try to make him nice and sweet too. Kind of like a well-meaning puppy who tries to give you the unconditional love you deserve.

Other questions?

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us.