Of course you can never really be sure whether you are talking to a real person online or not. There are programs called bots that run continuously and can be made to simulate people, or at least respond with stock answers to certain phrases. Some of these are quite predictably bots, but if they are programmed well enough to give enough variety in their answers, bots can theoretically be almost impossible to distinguish from humans. Of course, if that is the case, and if there is absolutely no way to determine what is a real person and what is just a simulation of a person, then what is the difference? There's the emotional aspect of not actually talking to a real person, but if you don't know any better, then why should it really matter?

Now of course we all know deep inside that it matters, but logically it seems that it shouldn't.