Sounds like Eliza to me too. For anyone who doesn’t know, Eliza was one of the first forays into AI in the form of an electronic pychologist. A common bit of discourse with Eliza went like this:
Hello, Jophiel. How are you today?
I am good.
Feeling positive today, I see. What did you want to talk about?
Why wouldn’t my mother buy me a dog when I was five?
How would it make you feel if your mother buy you a dog when you was five?
It would have made me feel good.
Feeling positive today, I see.
It should be easy to tell what the program was actually doing, which was throwing back bits of your text with the pronouns changed and responding to keywords and phrases like “feel good”. If you mentioned dreams, it would start asking if you dreamed much, if you said no, it would ask if you were feeling negative… etc. All in all, more surreal than mentally healing, although I suppose the circular conversation made you think out your problems. No doubt the Eliza base has been used to create countless other programs like the Apple one mentioned above.
“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”