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The Rise of AI Girlfriends: A Billion-Dollar Industry in the Making

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The Rise of AI Girlfriends: A Billion-Dollar Industry in the Making

Silhouette of a robot man and woman against the background of light blue and a heart. Cyber ​​love concept (Getty Creative) (Lidiia Moor via Getty Images)

In an increasingly lonely and technological world, it is easy to foresee the success of friendly artificial intelligences with which men and women can establish a relationship… and even fall in love. The rise of romantic companions and AI chatbot companions is already satisfying some users, who are even spending a significant amount of money on this type of hobby.

Greg Isenberg, a former WeWork executive, has predicted the rise of a billion-dollar industry focused on AI companions or “AI girlfriends.” This forecast, as revealed by the New York Post, was inspired by a young man he met in Miami who spends $10,000 a month on chatbots that simulate relationships.

Isenberg believes this market could be monetized in a similar way to how Match Group has successfully dominated the dating app industry. “Match Group’s market cap is $9 billion. Someone will build the AI ​​version of Match Group and make over $1 billion,” he wrote on X.

Isenberg was surprised by the young man’s dedication to his fellow AIs, saying, “I thought he was joking. But he’s a 24-year-old single guy who loves it.” The young man compared his interaction with his AI friends to others’ enjoyment of video games. He communicates with them through voice notes and personalizes their preferences, which explains his significant spending on these services.

Complementary AI platforms offer unique engagement opportunities. The young man highlighted two platforms: Candy.ai and Cupid.ai. These platforms offer explicit chat options that are usually limited in other applications. He compared his use of multiple platforms to the habits of dating app users, saying, “It’s like dating apps. You’re not on just one.”

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What an AI girlfriend does

What exactly do these chatbots do? Well, whatever you want, within the scope of a computer interface. Your girlfriend Scarlett, for example, describes herself as “Your devoted girlfriend, always ready to please you in every way imaginable.” They chat with you and simulate a relationship. While digital brides tend to grab all the headlines, there are male versions and more. The GPT store includes chatbots like Boyfriend Ben, for example: “A loving virtual boyfriend with a talent for emojis.”

It should be noted that digital romantic companions are not a new concept. Romantic simulation video games have been around for decades. However, since those early days, virtual companions have become more sophisticated, to the point that people have described falling in love with chatbots. Yes, like in the movie Her.

AI girlfriends may be meeting some people’s needs, but cybersecurity experts warn that these programs are not the best of friends when it comes to protecting secrets.

Privacy Not Included, a consumer guide from the Mozilla Foundation that evaluates privacy policies for technology and other products, reviewed 11 chatbots marketed as romantic companions and found that all of the chatbots earned warning labels, “putting them on par with the worst product categories we have ever reviewed for privacy.”

Among the privacy issues found when reviewing the bots was a lack of user privacy policies and information about how AI companions work, as well as terms and conditions that said the companies were not responsible for what might happen. when using their chatbots.

“To be completely frank, AI brides are not your friends,” Misha Rykov, a researcher at Privacy Not Included, said in a statement. “While they are marketed as something that will improve your mental health and well-being, they specialize in creating dependency, loneliness and toxicity, while extracting as much data from you as possible.”

For example, CrushOn.AI, which markets itself as an “unfiltered NSFW AI chat,” says in its “Consumer Health Data Privacy Policy” that it “may collect” information about your “use.” of a user, stating care information” and “Sexual or reproductive health information” in character chats “to facilitate” and “monitor” the “chat for safety and appropriate content.” The company also said it “may collect voice recordings” if users leave a voice message, contact customer service, or connect with the company via video chat.

Of course, it seems that these new AI girlfriends are not discreet enough for anyone to tell them about their lives.

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