The dire warnings of an imminent botpocalypse grow each passing day, with political commentators and CNN hosts warning that AI girlfriends are already laying waste to mankind, the biggest threat to human relationships since time began. A conservative opinion piece published on thehill.com, by political scientist Libberty Vittert, didn’t pull any punches. ‘AI girlfriends are ruining an entire generation of men’ ran the shocking headline. Before you cleanse your sins by deleting every AI compainon app on your phone, or cancel your membership of DreamGF, let’s do a little fact checking here.
Firstly, there is no mention in the entire article about AI boyfriends posing any dangers, despite it being clear that male sexchat bots aimed at women are proving every bit as popular. So popular in fact, that leading ‘audio erotica’ service Bloom has just announced a range of male characters taken from their stories, and imbued with NSFW AI life. On one of the leading hosts of AI sexchat bots – Spicy.ai – there are over 7,000 male characters compared to around 4,000 female bots. Perhaps some of their fans are gay men, but looking at the male characters, they seem to be more in line with the ‘erotica’ fantasy figures of Bloom rather than stereotypical gay orientated personalities. According to one figure that I’ve found, Replika.ai has a 75% male membership and 25% female, but remember that until recently Replika was primarily marketing itself as a racy AI girlfriend service.
Secondly, although virtual girlfriends and chatbot companions have been around for some time, the highly realistic chat features, along with a slew of strictly NSFW AI girlfriend apps and sites, have only appeared over the last year. Which is of course, why there is suddenly so many media articles hysterically warning of their supposed dangers. But as somebody who promotes AI girlfriends as an affiliate, I know that the numbers involved are a long way from representing ‘an entire generation of men’, and probably will remain so for a long time. For example, for some weeks I was at number one on Google for the search term ‘AI sex chat’. At that time, I was making up to 40 sales a day for the number one AI GF service DreamGF. That’s a lot, but even if the total number of men joining an AI companion service was 10,000 a day, it would still represent less than 4 million a year, or less than 0.1% of the male population of the world. So the title of the Hill article is hyperbole, hysterical, and misleading.
Thirdly, because the ‘mass use’ of AI girlfriend services is relatively new, any ‘studies’ that purport to show damaging effects on men or upon society, can at this stage be confidently written off as junk science and advocacy research.
Fourthly, the article makes the claim that AI girlfriends are already increasing the number of single males and that it is single males that are the principal cause of falling birthrates. Again, the first claim is absurd – AI girlfriends could not possibly be impacting the birth rate or the number of single males at this stage, given the relatively small size of the current market. The second claim is highly controversial, as would be any attempt to refute it, but let’s just note that for much of the last hundred years, it has been completely taboo to blame falling birth rates on women, feminism, female employment or education, the trend for women to give birth at older ages etc.
The Hill article was taken up by no less than CNN, with an equally hysteric warning over the dangers of AI girlfriends, using popular site Kupid.ai as their example of digisexual degeneracy.