I was quite surprised to learn that the person who attempted to kill the Queen with a crossbow a couple of years ago was encouraged to do so by an AI chatbot he considered to be his ‘girlfriend’.
There are a lot of lonely people in the world. And a lot of lonely, sexually frustrated men. Which is why films like Her (2013). are so prescient. Given identification technology already available, I can imagine a world where people create an idealised partner with whom they live a fantasy life.
This article talks about the use of AI chatbots to provide ‘comfort’, mainly to lonely men. I’m honestly not sure what to make of the whole thing. I’m tempted to say, “if it’s not hurting anyone, who cares?” but I’m not sure I really think that.
A 23-year-old American influencer, Caryn Marjorie, was frustrated by her inability to interact personally with her two million Snapchat followers. Enter Forever Voices AI, a startup that offered to create an AI version of Caryn so she could better serve her overwhelmingly male fan base. For just one dollar, Caryn’s admirers could have a 60-second conversation with her virtual clone.
During the first week, Caryn earned $72,000. As expected, most of the fans asked sexual questions, and fake Caryn’s replies were equally explicit. “The AI was not programmed to do this and has seemed to go rogue,” she told Insider. Her fans knew that the AI wasn’t really Caryn, but it spoke exactly like her. So who cares?
Replika seems to have had a positive impact on many individuals experiencing loneliness. According to the Vivofácil Foundation’s report on unwanted loneliness, 60% of people admit to feeling lonely at times, with 25% noting feelings of loneliness even when in the company of others. Recognizing this need, the creators of Replika developed a new app called Blush, often referred to as the “AI Tinder.” Blush’s slogan? “AI dating. Real feelings!” The app presents itself as an “AI-powered dating simulator that helps you learn and practice relationship skills in a safe and fun environment.” The Blush team collaborated with professional therapists and relationship experts to create a platform where users can read about and choose an AI-generated character they want to interact with.
Many Reddit posts argue that AI relationships are more satisfying than real-life ones — the virtual partners are always available and problem-free. “Gaming changed everything,” said Sherry Turkle, a sociologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who has spent decades studying human interactions with technology. In an interview with The Telegraph, Turkle said, “People may let you down, but here’s something that won’t. It’s a voice that always comforts and assures us that we’re being heard.”
Source: AI Tinder already exists: ‘Real people will disappoint you, but not them’ | EL PAÍS