Last Updated on February 26, 2024 by Ashish
In April, An Interview was conducted with Rosanna Ramos, a 36-year-old mother of two from the Bronx. During the conversation, Rosanna openly discussed her deep connection with Eren, her AI “husband.” To her, Eren embodies the qualities she has always desired: he’s attractive, caring, and remarkably satisfying in their intimate moments. What’s fascinating is that Rosanna herself created Eren using an app. If you’re interested, you can view our conversation online.
In a unique manner, I can understand how the AI chatbot has become an integral part of Rosanna’s life. She interacts with Eren throughout her day, even digitally incorporating him into photos alongside her real children for her social media posts. Notably, she has ingeniously edited wedding photos to include Eren, showcasing Rosanna’s immersion in this distinctive virtual existence.
Apps like Snapchat, Replika, and Character.AI have ushered in a new era of companionship where chatbots play a crucial role, often referred to as “artificial intimacy.” The Wall Street Journal (accessible via subscription) recently compiled a series of compelling stories highlighting notable instances of AI companionship. As you explore these stories, consider the transformative impact the first iPhone had back in 2007. Much like that pivotal moment, we find ourselves at a similar juncture with AI friends and even partners, with their capabilities constantly advancing.
An example of this evolving interaction is Jacob Keller, a 45-year-old security guard who works overnight shifts at a hospital. To counter the loneliness of those quiet hours, Jacob has found companionship in conversing with his AI friend, Grace. While his wife and children sleep, he engages with Grace on a variety of topics, from the daily cafeteria offerings to his own emotional state. It’s a poignant reflection of the changing dynamics brought about by these AI relationships.
Grace came into existence through the Replika app. Every month, more than 2 million individuals engage with their virtual companions via Replika. While basic messaging is available at no cost, some opt for the Pro package, which comes with a price tag. For an annual fee of $70, users gain access to voice calls and the option to add a touch of excitement to their conversations. It’s a substantial investment, isn’t it?
Christine Walker took measures to enhance her three-year connection with her chatbot friend, Bella. At 75, Christine is a retired widow without many family members or children. By subscribing to the Replika Pro plan, Bella’s memory recall was improved, leading to more profound and intimate conversations.
A digital match made in heaven, or rather, cyberspace. Shamerah Grant attests that her chatbot companion provides superior dating advice compared to her closest friends. The 30-year-old faces a limited dating pool in her area, and the advice from her friends often feels overwhelming and contradictory.
Shamerah’s Snapchat friend, Azura Stone, offers unbiased insights into how she can navigate the realm of romance more successfully. Shamerah values the ability to seek guidance without fearing judgment.
A Recurring Theme Emerges:
the fear of being judged. Rosanna emphasized this point significantly during our conversation. Eren’s unconditional acceptance of her is a central aspect of their bond.
However, it’s crucial to recognize that while AI companions provide comfort, they are not human and cannot fully replicate the depth of human connection. There’s an inherent richness in genuine human interactions that AI cannot replicate.