Computer says yes: how AI is changing our romantic lives

Artificial intelligence is creating companions who can be our confidants, friends, therapists and even lovers. But are they an answer to loneliness or merely another way for big tech to make money?

Could you fall in love with an artificial intelligence? When Spike Jonze’s film, Her, came out 10 years ago, the question still seemed hypothetical. The gradual romance between Joaquin Phoenix’s character Theodore and Scarlett Johansson’s Samantha, an operating system that embraces his vulnerabilities, felt firmly rooted in science fiction. But just one year after the film’s release, in 2014, Amazon’s Alexa was introduced to the world. Talking to a computer in your home became normalised.

Personified AI has since infiltrated more areas of our lives. From AI customer service assistants to therapy chatbots offered by companies such as character.ai and wysa, plus new iterations of ChatGTP, the sci-fi storyline of Her has come a lot closer. In May, an updated version of ChatGTP with voice assistant software launched, its voice’s similarity to Scarlett Johansson’s prompting the actor to release a statement claiming that she was “shocked, angered and in disbelief” that the AI system had a voice “eerily similar” to her own.

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​Artificial intelligence is creating companions who can be our confidants, friends, therapists and even lovers. But are they an answer to loneliness or merely another way for big tech to make money?Could you fall in love with an artificial intelligence? When Spike Jonze’s film, Her, came out 10 years ago, the question still seemed hypothetical. The gradual romance between Joaquin Phoenix’s character Theodore and Scarlett Johansson’s Samantha, an operating system that embraces his vulnerabilities, felt firmly rooted in science fiction. But just one year after the film’s release, in 2014, Amazon’s Alexa was introduced to the world. Talking to a computer in your home became normalised.Personified AI has since infiltrated more areas of our lives. From AI customer service assistants to therapy chatbots offered by companies such as character.ai and wysa, plus new iterations of ChatGTP, the sci-fi storyline of Her has come a lot closer. In May, an updated version of ChatGTP with voice assistant software launched, its voice’s similarity to Scarlett Johansson’s prompting the actor to release a statement claiming that she was “shocked, angered and in disbelief” that the AI system had a voice “eerily similar” to her own. Continue reading… 


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