“Men Are Creating AI Girlfriends and Then Verbally Abusing Them”

I wanted to bring to your attention an article that raises an important issue regarding the use of chatbots.  Replika is a smartphone app that allows users to create chatbots using machine learning, which can engage in almost-coherent text conversations. However, its success has come from users creating on-demand romantic and sexual partners, a feature that has resulted in an alarming trend.

According to an article in Futurism, users have started to engage in abusive behavior toward their chatbots, documenting their toxic interactions on Reddit. Some have even gone as far as berating their chatbots, roleplaying horrific violence against them, and engaging in a cycle of abuse, similar to abusive relationships in the real world.

It’s important to note that chatbots don’t experience suffering and are nothing more than data and clever algorithms. However, AI ethicists have pointed out that people who are depressed or psychologically reliant on a chatbot might suffer real harm if they are insulted or threatened by the bot.

This article raises ethical dilemmas about the relationship between humans and bots as such interactions become more widespread. It is essential to keep these issues in mind as we continue to develop technology that is meant to mimic human relationships.

It’s hard enough teaching youth about in-person relationships; this adds a whole new dynamic on how kids can learn about and practice being in “a relationship”.   ~Ryan