Robogirlfriends On The Rise

The Bridge: The future of relationships is looking mighty strange, folks. About a decade ago, it was a little funny to hear that a couple had met online and were going strong. “How are you supposed to make genuine connections through the internet?” was a common enough question. Then online dating and matchmaking became deliberate, and apps like Tinder and Plenty Of Fish took off. According to statistics, almost 40% of couples today met digitally.

So what will the future hold? There’s a new trend emerging in the world of URL-to-IRL romance – one where the partner isn’t a real person at all. Does this signal the rise of one-sided relationships? Or will the trend collapse and be nothing more than an internet historical footnote? One thing is clear: the traditional guidelines for dating are becoming more blurred than ever.

Some 🤖💋 Context

Since the dawn of the online era, people have been photoshopping pictures of themselves with fictional love interests. An undoubtedly cringe example from way back is brony (bros obsessed with My Little Pony) fanart – these guys had a habit of editing their favorite characters into their lives. This niche but very real phenomenon stemmed from the 2-D girlfriend trend out of (where else?) Japan. Men and women would buy body pillows with life-sized versions of their favorite anime characters, and treat them as if they were in a “real” relationship.

Some even got married.

So when did we cross the cultural line between fictosexuals (yes, it’s a real thing) and the current upswing in entirely one-way digital relationships?

A New Age

Details are sparse and examples are few, but when one visible personality picks up a trend, more are sure to follow. One prominent YouTuber used AI to generate an artificial girlfriend, and the story is still picking up steam.

One man even credits an AI chatbot with saving his marriage – which if you ask us, is a pretty inexpensive alternative to couples therapy.

With easy access to these sophisticated tools, we will likely be watching the landscape transform in front of our very eyes.

What will society think of this transformation? What do you think? Is “artificial love” here to stay?

robobride / freepik+pexels+J. Santana

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