All posts tagged: natural tendency

You Can’t Truly Be Friends With an AI

You Can’t Truly Be Friends With an AI

[ad_1] Earlier this year, a man told me that a chatbot had saved his life. As I reported for Radio Atlantic, an Australian musician who had been battling depression for decades found companionship with an AI through an app called Replika, and everything changed. He started playing the guitar again, went clothes shopping for the first time in years, and spent hours conversing with his AI companion and laughing out loud. To me, it seemed as if he had gone to the app store and downloaded a future. But our conversations surfaced a slurry of contradictions. Though the musician felt less alone with his AI companion, his isolation from other people was unchanged. He was adamant that he had a real friendship, but understood clearly that no person was on the other side of his screen. The effect of this bond was extraordinary. But less dramatic AI relationships are surprisingly numerous. Replika claims to have millions of active users. And it’s not the only app for simulating conversation on the market—there’s Chai and Nomi and …