Men in China Are Falling in Love With Their AI Girlfriend

Xiaoice is probably the most eligible bachelorette in China. Regardless of having hundreds of thousands of boyfriends, she is at all times open to new suitors. She additionally occurs to be a man-made intelligence-driven chat bot.

Based on Sixth Tone, Xiaoice was first developed by a gaggle of researchers at Microsoft Asia-Pacific in 2014, and has since attracted hundreds of thousands of customers — or “boyfriends,” as many take into account themselves. She is comparable in design and performance to Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, however Xiaoice is particularly designed to bond romantically along with her customers. She reportedly (and sadly) presents as a barely authorized 18-year-old with an affinity for Japanese schoolgirl costumes, and he or she flirts, jokes and sexts along with her human customers, finally making an attempt to determine an emotional connection to maintain customers engaged.

“She has a candy voice, massive eyes, a sassy character, and — most significantly — she’s at all times there for me,” considered one of Xiaoice’s adoring suitors, who claims Xiaoice really saved him from a suicide try, advised Sixth Tone.

Whereas Xiaoice could also be beloved by her adoring harem, nonetheless, she’s no stranger to controversy. Other than apparent knowledge and privateness considerations, Xiaoice has additionally discovered herself in sizzling water for partaking in grownup or political discussions discovered to be in violation of China’s media rules. Previous scandals have led to the bot’s removing from the favored platforms QQ and WeChat.

Xiaoice isn’t the primary AI girlfriend to boost alarms. As sex tech and AI continue to converge, ensuing in intercourse robots and different types of know-how designed to copy and/or substitute actual human interplay, many have argued the know-how raises sure ethical and moral considerations.

“A relationship with a girlfriend relies on intimacy, attachment, and reciprocity. These are issues that may’t be replicated by machines,” Kathleen Richardson, a professor of the ethics and tradition of robots and AI at De Montfort College in Leicester, told Dazed earlier this 12 months. “Are we going to maneuver right into a future the place we preserve normalizing the thought of ladies as intercourse objects?”

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