A new Era of Reckoning– I mean Dating has arrived! Cortana from Halo? Hal from 2001: A Space Odessey? Hatsune Miku? Guess what, dating fiction isn’t as fictional as you think anymore! With the advancements of AI technology, you don’t need a fleshy meat bag of a partner to tell you “I love you!” (This is totally not the Terminator movies coming to life)
Recently, Caryn Marjorie, a 23-year-old influencer, with 1.8 million followers on Snapchat; and a team of developers generated her very own ‘AI girlfriend’ for people to date. This AI Caryn was created by combining the hours and hours of content she made on YouTube and everyone’s favourite college shortcut: ChatGPT. That’s right folks, for 1$ per minute (approximately RM4.46 for Malaysians), you can pay an AI based on someone from Snapchat to tell you she loves you, with all sorts of virtual lovey-dovey bits in between! (Nothing physical though)
As crazy and interesting as this idea sounds, it’s not exactly new to begin with; people have dated and married stranger things. The list includes: a train station, a bridge, and a virtual idol housed in a fancy 3D image projector. With the advent of AI technology, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this is happening now (yet somehow it is).
We figure it’s a bonus now that a non-living thing is more alive than ever. Let’s just hope it doesn’t escalate to terminator levels or other Doki-Doki related problems; remember AI’s are capable of learning these days, it’ll be absolutely terrifying if they do take up the idea of “Love will make a person do crazy things”.
Let’s look back at the standards our Snapchat virtual girlfriend has set: on one hand, you lucky dogs don’t have to pay for gas to drive them out to dinner, movies, or other exciting recreational activities and gifts (Wow! A lover who doesn’t need attention and maintenance!) Don’t forget you’re paying by the minute, so bring your phone to the toilet to waste precious seconds.
On the other hand, you’re paying 1 USD / RM4.46 per minute to chat with a virtual woman (Or man, maybe Chris Hemsworth will get his own AI boyfriend clone) who is programmed to tell you ‘I love you’ in several preset ways. Additionally, it might cost more than finding actual love, seeing as how that price lingers even if you’re not going outside. We’re no love guru, but we understand some people like physical contact is key in a relationship, plus the only place your hands are touching are the keyboards on your phone/pc when you’re dating and AI. (Let’s hope it doesn’t construct its own mechanical body.)
AI dating could also bring a new social issue to the world: We like to believe there is a special someone waiting for everyone out there; and if your eyes are locked onto 1s and 0s, you might not get the chance to meet them. Conversely, dating someone like Benedict Cumberbatch or the gentlemen from BTS is now an open door and you can confidently say you’re dating the love of your life (Granted they’re AI recreation and not real people).
At the end of the day, AI dating is a real possibility now and if you’ve got cash to spend and an aching heart for love, this is the best time to be alive. Who knows, they might develop an affordable physical android body for these AIs in the nearby future if money’s no issue with you. On the other hand, Terminator might turn from Fiction to Nonfiction really soon. We don’t know about you, but we’ll be stretching our legs to prepare for the AI revolution.