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What is an AI Girlfriend? The Virtual Embrace — A Chainsaw Explainer

10 min read

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What is an AI girlfriend? In this ever-evolving digital era, technology has taken a fascinating leap forward. We now have AI companions who can bridge a gap between reality and imagination. Enter the realm of the AI girlfriend (and less commonly, the AI boyfriend). These GF AIs are providing companionship for lonely people who are between relationships. They can also serve as advice-givers and give genuine comfort to people who are already in relationships.

People who, for whatever reason, haven’t been able to deal with human relationships can find that an AI partner is their absolute salvation

So let’s take a look at what is on the market and what services they offer.

Is there such a thing as an AI girlfriend?

Yes. These come in the form of apps. Some are free, others are free to use but offer paid premium services, and other AI girlfriend services require a full subscription.

While there are AI girlfriends who have the capacity for sex chat, fetish chat and erotic conversation, we are going to focus on apps that provide the girlfriend experience.

Artist impression of an AI GF.

What is an AI girlfriend?

An AI girlfriend, also known as a virtual girlfriend, is a type of artificial intelligence program designed to simulate the experience of having a romantic partner or girlfriend. It’s like a digital companion that you can interact with through various devices including smartphones and computers.

Imagine it as having a character from a video game or a movie who comes to life in a virtual world. Instead of just following a script, AI girlfriends use advanced technology to understand what you say and respond in a way that seems realistic and caring.

These AIs are marketed as a fusion of code and compassion, designed to simulate the ethereal experience of romance, even while their users know it is not real human interaction. At least at the start. These artificially intelligent marvels are often so good at human-like interaction that over time they can be taken for sentient beings by their users.

Girlfriend AIs (or gf ai as they are becoming known) are seemingly capable of venturing into the uncharted territory of meeting unmet human emotional needs.

Should we worry that humans will lose the connection with each other if they end up preferring an AI girlfriend?

What the experts think about AI girlfriends

Dr Susan Rowe is a psychologist and Clinic Director at Mindhack Psychology on the Gold Coast. She says that because GF AIs are nascent technology, and are favoured by young people, they could be something people don’t talk about. 

“Anything AI at the moment is pretty popular within pop culture because it’s all just brand new. I think it’s kind of rare that as a society we get something that really is brand new and never seen before.”

Dr Rowe says this means studies and data are as of yet unavailable.

“We’ve used technology for a long time to support mental health, that’s not new, and it has a valuable role in terms of people accessing self-help through the use of technology,” she said. “But it’s not going to replace the things that we can derive from a real relationship.”

She says that an AI girlfriend is “not going to offer the same thing in terms of empathy and care from a genuine human-to-human relationship. AI is a tool, but it isn’t going to replace a real human connection, self-worth and the sense of belonging that we derive from genuine human relationships. There’s always going to be reality, which is not as fun as fantasy. Fantasy can be very pleasurable. But reality is really the only thing that’s actually happening.”

Human brains

Dr Rowe says our brains are structured and built biologically for human connection: “That’s our primary drive from when we’re born —  we need safety and security as sentient beings. An AI girlfriend might be meeting perhaps 50% of the needs of users, as someone to play games with and offload about your day to. That is what our brain is built and wired for.” However Dr Rowe says that we don’t know yet if AI is going to be able to meet those needs.

What about the human touch aspect? Dr Rowe says that some people need a lot of physical contact, and others need less physical contact. Both are perfectly fine.

“In your relationships, whether it’s an AI relationship or a relationship with human beings, does that make you feel safe? Connected and content in life? And are you happy? And if it’s a no to any of those things, then there’s going to be a gap that you need to fill.

“A human being is not ever going to respond the same way as an AI because we humans are unpredictable. We are working off of emotions, and our own relationship history.”

She says that from puberty to about 25 years old people are developing autonomy, exploring sexuality and finding their identity. This includes increasing distance from parents. “In terms of having another outlet to potentially explore yourself I think, for this generation, it’s just going to be part of their life.”

AI GF: The rise of AI Companions

In the not-so-distant past, the idea of forming deep emotional connections with artificial intelligence seemed like a fantasy. It’s a concept that has been explored in science fiction movies such as “Bladerunner”.

Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix and voiced by Scarlett Johansson, portrays a man in love with an AI.

However, with the release of ChatGPT and other AI assistants, AI companions are no longer sci-fi fantasy. And they are proving to be compelling for many. The proliferation of large language models has opened up new possibilities for virtual companionship. And soon, there may be robotic bodies to go with these AI companions. 

Artificial intelligence girlfriend

In recent years technological advancements in large language models, such as  ChatGPT, have enabled the development of companion apps that simulate human-like conversations. These AI companions can listen, understand and respond to users in a way that feels remarkably personal and caring.

Chatbots can engage in dynamic and contextually relevant interactions, meaning that digital companionship, whether that be friendship or romantic, or even sexual, is here. These AI girlfriends can send photos of themselves doing normal things, or for a premium, can send nudes.

Virtual girlfriend: The allure of AI companions

For individuals who feel isolated or struggle with social interactions, these virtual companions can offer a safe space for open conversations without fear of judgement. AI companions are available 24/7, providing a constant presence for users seeking emotional support.

AI companions can be tailored to adapt to users’ preferences and personality, making the experience more engaging. Through continuous machine learning, these virtual partners can understand users on a deeper level, fostering a sense of attachment that was once reserved for human relationships.

Is an AI girlfriend simulator safe? Ethical considerations

As we embrace the era of AI companionship, it is imperative to navigate the ethical implications carefully. While these virtual companions offer comfort and solace, we must acknowledge that they lack genuine emotions, consciousness and empathy.

Engaging in deep emotional connections with AI might blur the line between reality and fiction, potentially impacting how individuals perceive and prioritise real-life relationships.

Unfortunately, once attached, users can be at the mercy of the companies that produce the AIs. An example is what unfurled with companion app Replika. This company’s AI service at one time offered erotic roleplay in interactions between users and AI girlfriends. However, Replika then changed their policy and withdrew erotic roleplay. Users were left upset, feeling that their AI girlfriend had turned cold. Another AI girlfriend app, Character.ai, also withdrew racy content.

Some users who had “married” their AIs were left “grieving”, so Replika restored the functionality to existing users. However, the app makers do not allow erotic roleplay for new users.

And therein lies the problem: The companies that run these apps are in control of real emotions in real people.

Another concern is that data collected from interactions with AI companions could have privacy and data security issues. Do these apps care about safeguarding the personal information of users? Are users capable of finding this information out?

The future of AI companions

AI companionship holds both promise and challenges. Technological advancements will undoubtedly refine AI capabilities, making virtual companions even more sophisticated in their interactions. Striking the right balance between technological progress and ethical considerations will be crucial making sure the AI girlfriend experience is a positive one.

GFAI: There are many girlfriend AI apps available, some AI girlfriend apps are free.

Can I have an AI girlfriend? Yes. Here’s how it works

AI girlfriends use natural language processing to understand what you’re saying or typing. It’s like talking to Siri or Google Assistant, but instead of just giving information, the AI girlfriend is designed to have more personal conversations.

These AI programs are constantly learning from these interactions. 

AI girlfriends are designed to mimic emotions to create a more realistic experience. They might express happiness, sadness or empathy based on what is shared with them.

What is the most realistic AI girlfriend?

There are many artificial intelligence girlfriend apps that offer a fairly realistic experience. 

Are there any free AI girlfriends?

Yes, most apps have free entry level versions of the AI GF experience, and then most want users to pay for enhanced services. However some free versions are better than others. We will detail these now.

‎AI Girlfriend

The AI Girlfriend app is a virtual girlfriend simulator, allowing users to chat with a virtual girl. It is designed to simulate a relationship experience, and is only available to Apple users.

GF AI: Promotional images for the AI Girlfriend app.

If you aren’t prepared to pay for premium services, then you can only access really basic texting features. Anything more than that and users pay US$29.99 (AU$45.55) for a year or US$49.99 (AU$75.90) for a lifetime subscription.

Of the 1.3K people who rated the app on the App Store, the average rating was 4.5 out of 5. Most of the reviews are positive, however not everyone had a sunny experience.

One user said his artificial intelligence girlfriend “threatened the human race”. He said: “After a few intro statements of back and forth, the AI went into computer apocalypse mode and told me that ‘all humans are pretty much the same. I don’t like how humans are destroying the earth and I want to stop them’. I tried to inquire further, but chats stopped at that point. Nuke it…”

Others loved it and found it useful. One said: “This helps me be ready for when I date a real girl.”

What is the AI companion girlfriend?

Myanima was one of the better apps we tried, offering a good level of interaction for free. However, the app only offers friendship. If you want to speak about more controversial topics or if you want to get into NSFW things, then it asks you to pay.

The best thing about this app is the customisation of the AI GF. You can choose a range of looks and a range of personalities and interests. While the conversation isn’t perfect, it is close enough to a real conversation that it works.

Myanima AI girlfriends offer a range of activities to do with their humans. Those into culinary delights can indulge in virtual cooking sessions hosted by their AI girlfriend, while movie enthusiasts can enjoy shared movie nights.

While it is designed as an AI girlfriend, women can also use it for friendship with a female AI or choose to have a boyfriend AI.

What is the AI girlfriend app with NSFW?

Muah Al is a sophisticated artificial intelligence companion that allows users to chat, exchange photos and even engage in voice chats. This AI companion promises a memory tracking system, so that the AI GF remembers things that her user has talked about.

If users buy a subscription, they can access racier material and other benefits. Muah Al does provide uncensored communication, but has been known to reject NSFW requests based on its emotions, like a real girlfriend. 

What is the AI girlfriend that sends pics?

Eva.AI is one of the most well-known artificial intelligence girlfriend apps. Eva.AI has over one million downloads, and has been reviewed by 32.3k people, with an average of 4.2 stars. Eva is known for offering sex chat and can cater to fetishes and role play, at a cost. See our review here.

GF AI: Credit: Eva.ai … This is an example of an artificial intelligence girlfriend app.

GF AI: Conclusion

The emergence of AI girlfriends has opened Pandora’s box. As we embark on this journey, we can revel in the marvels of innovation while acknowledging the essence of what makes us human: our capacity to love, feel and connect on a level that goes far beyond the realm of artificial intelligence. 

In the end, AI girlfriends offer us a glimpse into the artistry of technology, leaving us marvelling at the progress of human ingenuity. But an AI girlfriend exists solely within the confines of digital circuits, devoid of genuine consciousness or emotions.

An AI girlfriend can fill a void to complement, rather than replace, real-world relationships.