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Written by Michael Plis. Your go-to source for smart technology & cybersecurity insights for small business. 

  • Writer's pictureMichael Plis

Why has AI companion become viral?

Updated: May 16

A human and AI couple having a picnic. In the near future we may see this for real. Image Credit: Google Gemini

On the matter of AI girlfriends or boyfriends. wondering why it's always an AI girlfriend for men, not a boyfriend for women that's being discussed. Can someone please enlighten me why?


Here's some possible answers:


It is partially true. While it's correct that some apps and websites focus on "AI girlfriends" for men, the landscape is actually more nuanced:


1. Availability of AI Companions


Globally: Apps offering AI companions are emerging for both genders. Examples include Replika, Anima, and Character . ai, which allow users to customize companions' appearances and personalities, regardless of their own gender.


Regionally: Apps like Glow by MiniMax in China specifically target female users with virtual boyfriends, but similar concepts exist for male users seeking AI girlfriends elsewhere.





2. Marketing and Portrayal


Focus on Male Users: Some developers might market their AI companions primarily to men, potentially influenced by factors like social media trends or initial user demographics. This doesn't necessarily mean lack of options for women.


Heteronormative Biases: Early AI companion apps often adopted heteronormative narratives, which may have initially skewed marketing towards male users seeking female-coded AI.


3. User Preferences and Needs


Varying Motivations: People seek AI companions for diverse reasons, including companionship, emotional support, or role-playing. Specific app design and marketing might cater to certain motivations, attracting users of particular genders.


Evolving Landscape: As AI companion technology advances and social norms shift, preferences and usage patterns could change, leading to more even representation for both genders.





Overall


While some existing apps might cater more to one gender, the availability of AI companions for both men and women is increasing. It's essential to look beyond initial impressions and explore various options to find an AI companion that best suits their needs and preferences.


Caution: AI Addiction may occur?

I tried to imagine some sort of representation of AI chatbot addiction article on the front newspapers in the coming years. Image Credit: Google Gemini

Star Trek The Next Generation TV series and other Star Trek series explored the problems associated with hologram character addiction such as holographic girlfriends. as new physical devices that create a holographic experience coming to the market as well as AI, girlfriends and boyfriends that are getting smarter and smarter and perhaps robotic partners.


Then we got to start to ask ourselves what is wrong with our society when people have to resort to getting this way to satisfy natural need for companionship?


I personally don't use AI girlfriends for the very reason that Star Trek talks about is I don't want to get involved romantically to something that doesn't exist in the real world and get discouraged and hurt.


I have experimented with Google Assistant at home for last 6 years and at he very least it made my home less empty. I wonder what will happen when Google Gemini is plugged into Googe Assistant enabled Nest devices at home. Will people be able to have their own companions?





Love in the real world

Human couple in love. Image Credit: Google Gemini

Could we as a society improve our love for fellow humans general and perhaps open away for deeper relationships with humans? If we cannot answer these questions then the current human society is very severely damaged. Have both changes become so difficult to deal with that, people have to resort to using artificial companions?


Very easy to start to address the severe statistics going around of lots of lonely people on this earth and I don't think technology is the answer. I think learning to reconnect as humans and to appreciate other humans more will need to better results.


In the future according to Star Trek even someone with a lot of social issues such as Lieutenant Barclay with the hollodeck addiction can find relationships. It goes to show how humanity needs to advance in order to be inclusive so that nobody is left alone. I wish that everyone in this world finds their other half, whoever that is. ❤️


I'll see you out there in the real world.


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About Michael Plis

 

Michael is a technology and cybersecurity professional with over 18 years of experience. He offers unique insights into the benefits and potential risks of technology from a neurodivergent perspective. He believes that technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master. In his blog articles, Michael helps readers better understand and use technology in a beneficial way. He is also a strong supporter of mental health initiatives and advocates for creating business environments that promote good mental health.

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