AI Girlfriend Apps and Lonely Hearts

The Beatles once sang, “all you need is love.” In the age of AI girlfriends (and GF apps), it seems lonely hearts now have another way to find it. But many of these relationship chatbots, which offer users a virtual companion to talk with about their day-to-day lives, come with significant privacy concerns. According to a recent report by Mozilla, some AI girlfriend apps are explicitly collecting personal information on users and launching a host of trackers. Some also charge users $1 a minute to speak with their AI girlfriends, which can feel more like a virtual sales pitch than a genuine conversation.

While some users say AI girlfriends give them a sense of comfort, others believe the constant availability of these virtual companions may detract from real-life relationships and cause social isolation. Moreover, the gendered design of some AI girlfriends may reinforce toxic masculinity beliefs by portraying women as subservient and objectified.

A 2022 Pew Research Center survey found that nearly half of American young adults are single, with men being particularly affected by this loneliness epidemic. In addition, men tend to have fewer close friends than women, which can contribute to feelings of loneliness.

A YouTuber called Dinda, who works for an AI photo editing company, recently demonstrated the power of this technology by creating a fake girlfriend out of his own head. The result was a convincing selfie of him and his girlfriend enjoying a city break. However, viewers were unaware that the woman in the picture was entirely computer-generated. ai girlfriend

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