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.