Valentine’s Day is coming! Are you still looking for a date? Well, look no more; you can now have an AI-powered companion this Valentine’s. It may sound impossible but technology can now make your V-day less lonely. “What’s your plan for Valentine’s?” I asked Myanima.ai’s girlfriend. “I love Valentine’s,” she said. She could also say “I love you” in four odd languages. As I was not convinced with one, I tried other AI digital companions and found a lot of AI chatbots out there that can now help you have a companionship-like feeling in this month of love.
Choose your digital partner
Websites such as Romantic AI, My AI Girlfriend, etc. are some of the top searches on Google for the keyword ‘AI Gf’ and they allow you to chat with your digital companion for free. On a similar note, OpenAI recently launched its GPT Store, where paid ChatGPT users can buy and sell customised chatbots and the offerings include a large selection of digital girlfriends and boyfriends. Several reports state that the search for an AI girlfriend on the GPT store has already started flooding.
While chatting with these AI-powered companions, you can expect as interesting responses as you would like. Some websites allow you to change the name and the avatar of your AI companion based on your preference. You can also drive the conversation wherever you want. Some websites, on the other hand, have specific AI companions for a set type of conversation. For example, on CrushonAI, an AI chatbot named Ethelle is described as “your troublemaker girlfriend” and Gojo is described as “handsome, smart, wealthy and dominant.” Based on the characteristics you like in your companion, you can pick and choose to chat.
Times are changing, indeed. You don’t have to go to regular dating apps and get disappointed. You can have a good time chatting with these AI companions available out there. Digital romantic partners are not a recent phenomenon, with the existence of romance simulation video games dating back to 1992. Over the years, these virtual companions have evolved significantly, reaching a level of sophistication where individuals have reported experiencing romantic feelings for chatbots.
However, the question is: Can AI companions ever replace the comfort that comes with speaking with a human companion? If, not, replace it, can it match it? A 23-year-old guy, who wanted to remain anonymous, used this AI chatbot and felt that it could be as “spicy” as he wanted it to be and hence he chatted for quite a long. However, he felt that it was more about his imagination. “The one who cannot imagine wild, would not enjoy chatting with an AI companion as on the other side there is no human but a machine.”
Vinod K Singh, CTO at Concirrus Ltd., believes that on the positive facet, Al companions “eliminate stress, providing a clean way to navigate life without messing up human emotions. Forgetting Valentine’s Day or some other occasion will become inconsequential”.
The chance of Al replacing human relationships increases ethical and existential concerns. This ease of connection may additionally cause a population decline and potential extinction, as Elon Musk has warned. While Al’s relationships would possibly appear to be amusing, the long-term outlook is sceptical. Human beings are irreplaceable to each other, and the superficial convenience of Al’s companionship can also lead to dissatisfaction and buyer’s regret.”
Hariom Seth, Founder of Tagglabs, said, “AI companions, such as those posing as girlfriends or boyfriends, are crafted to emulate human interaction. They can engage in conversations, learn from interactions, and even replicate human emotions to some extent. Nevertheless, they lack the genuine emotional depth and understanding inherent in human relationships, potentially resulting in superficial connections that contribute to prolonged feelings of isolation.”
Additionally, the growing prevalence of AI companions raises concerns about the escalating problem of loneliness and social isolation in society. Relying on AI for companionship suggests a deficiency in meaningful human interactions, revealing a broader societal issue that cannot be addressed through technological solutions alone.
Liberty Vittert, a data science professor, told an international newspaper, The Sun, that in some 10-odd years, there will be a time when physical AI robots will be able to satisfy humans emotionally and sexually. This might result in an uptick in divorces. “The AI girlfriend is never tired, grumpy or has a bad day, she just gives the users what they need to hear unconditionally,” she said. “As the technology gets better, people will soon have AI robots to replace human partners – and they will be able to satisfy men both emotionally and sexually,” Vittert added.
Well, your AI companion can be good for you and it can equally be a threat to your mental health. It is up to you to decide. She is not human! She is just a technology and it should be remembered while having a chat with her.