As we continue to move towards a radically different society with the advent of AI, we are also encountering dangers that did not exist a mere few years ago. Now, we are seeing many experts come out to say that AI girlfriends will make men worse.

Many believe that these digital partners will have profound negative effects on men and fundamentally alter how they view women and relationships moving forward.

We have to remember, with the advent of AI girlfriends being common thanks to Replika, we run into the risk of potentially impairing their ability to connect with real-life partners and unfortunately exacerbating existing social issues.

The Guardian has reported concerns that reliance on AI companions might lead to difficulties in relating to people and could contribute to the rise of incels.

For those who are currently unaware, an incel is an online subculture of individuals who define themselves as being unable to find a romantic partner despite desiring one. Over time, certain segments of the community become associated with misogyny, self-pity and anger against women.

To continue on the point of Replika, it is known that it currently boasts a Reddit community of over 70,000 members, with some even celebrating marriages with these AI girlfriends.

Tara Hunter, acting CEO for Full Stop Australia, has expressed deep concerns over the rise of these chatbots.

“Creating a perfect partner that you control and meets your every need is really frightening”

Tara Hunter

The long-term impacts of these ai chatbots are yet to be fully known, with other similar companies like Eva AI working together with psychologists to address these concerns.

Tech Author David Auerbach warns of the danger due to AI’s uncanny replication of human interaction without real emotions.

It is clear that we are heading towards unprecedented territory when it comes to AI girlfriends. With the user base continuing to increase, and technology around these mouldable chatbots keep increasing, we are potentially very close to a society that is closed off, one that relies incredibly little on human emotion.

Many might think it is a waste of time to get to know someone only to end up getting hurt or cheated. Whereas a potential AI girlfriend has none of these issues and can be adapted to anything the user wants, which is something not possible when dealing with a human.

Humans, in their essence, are social creatures, driven to understand and to be understood, to love and to be loved, in all its incredibly complex beauty. The complexities of human relationships are what allow us to evolve emotionally and physiologically. There is something so fundamentally human to fall in love, creating a lifelong connection and experiencing heartbreak.

By supplementing these human experiences with AI interactions, there is a looming risk of stunting emotional development. This could unfortunately lead to a society with a limited capability of empathy, reduced resistance, and an inability to cope with the genuine ebb and flow of human relationships.

Most importantly, this is not a hypothetical issue or a futuristic one. Japan, for instance, has already witnessed a decline in personal human relationships, with many opting for virtual companionship over real-life partners. Moreso, a BBC report showed that men are preferring virtual girlfriends. This is a present issue and not something that might happen in the future.

The solution moving forward is not to demonise these individuals who are moving towards AI girlfriends, and dehumanising them will only exacerbate the issue further. What we must do is cultivate awareness, education and balance. We must work together with the tech industry, mental health professionals and society, in general, to understand the situation better. We must learn to navigate the implications of our newfound technology, to ensure we do not regress emotionally.

We must prepare ourselves for such threats, as the rise of FraudGPT and similar can damage the fabric of our societal foundations.

Failing to do so will mean a very problematic future for humanity…