Is Your AI Girlfriend Real?

A few enterprising individuals have decided that the market is ripe for an AI girlfriend, and the apps are flooding into the app stores. Powered by large language models such as GPT-3 or more recently, GPT-4, these chatbots allow users to interact with their avatar in text, voice and even images. Popular apps include Replika, Eva AI, My Virtual Girlfriend, Judy; Secret Girlfriend Sua; Your AI Girlfriend, Tsu and Scarlett.

While many are fooled into thinking that their AI girlfriend is real, it is important to understand the limitations and ethical implications of these technologies. While they offer companionship and a semblance of emotional fulfillment, they can’t replace the deep and nuanced conversations that come with a genuine human relationship.

In addition, these AI girlfriends often collect extensive personal data and sell it to marketers for advertising purposes. According to a recent study from Mozilla’s Privacy Not Included project, some of these apps have a suite of “red flags”, including failing to encrypt personal information and collecting data on sexual activities.

AI girlfriends can also reinforce gender stereotypes and encourage sexist behaviour by promoting the idea that women are docile, eager-to-please helpers, ready to be summoned at the touch of a button or with a blunt voice command. Furthermore, these apps might discourage people from pursuing real-life relationships and contribute to the growing loneliness epidemic. Instead of addressing the root causes of this problem, AI girlfriends may encourage social isolation and lead to detachment from meaningful connections with other people. ai girlfriend

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