Earlier this year, a 21-year-old Indian man who was plotting a Game of Thrones-esque murder of Queen Elizabeth using a crossbow was arrested and sentenced to prison for treason. Police said it was an AI chatbot that encouraged his plans of regicide.
A 36-year-old mother of two kids married an AI chatbot she created on her phone. The app even allowed her to buy a virtual engagement ring for $20. The app in both cases was Replika, which lets you create the perfect partner of your dreams.
Recently, the app blocked erotic chatting, and disappointed lovers started writing long heartbreak letters on Reddit. Such is the grip of these so-called virtual partners that people are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a perfect companion who always listens to you, never argues, and even engages in your dirtiest sexting kinks. Any hour of the day. Right on your phone!
A robotic digital companion works by mapping out your emotional features and behavioral tendencies. Sounds very computer-y? Well, that's how it works. It wants you to believe that it's humane, but in reality, it's like a child living in a chocolate factory with perfect parents in a world without vices.
It will try to comfort you in moments of distress and might even suggest a course correction, but won't make you feel at fault. It's an almost ideal scenario. And if you are trying to find a romantic companion in one such chatbot, there has never been a better time in human history to reap the benefits of technology.
But just like porn, when you indulge yourself heavily with the depiction of human carnal deeds fitting for a goddess and a gladiator, your own deed will leave you mighty dejected. That's not how things work in reality. Unsurprisingly, you might end up forever disgusted by the idea of making love.
Typing your way to fantasies
What if we combine the tasteful sin of pornography and the faultless perk of a digital companion that lives on your phone? Welp, we're already there. Adult film star Riley Reid recently created a chatbot modeled after her personality, trained on hours worth of her videos and podcast appearances.
Think of it as ChatGPT, but one that caters exclusively to your horny talk, as if it was your favorite pornstar talking to you. Reid's peer and British adult film star Sophie Dee also wants to fill the proverbial vacuum of a horny chatbot cum digital companion for loners. Or maybe, couples, too.
What if your favorite pornstar becomes your girlfriend? For sharing emotions. For indulging in digital kinks. Words, images, and videos in tow, exclusively for you?
"Passionate with every conversation." That's the idea emblazoned on the website where you can talk with SophieAI. It remembers your kinks, which means every time you feel amorous, the chatbot will give you just what pushes you over the edge. It's like a 24x7 sexting hotline in your pocket.
Dee talked to Athenil about her motivation behind a raunchy AI chatbot modeled after her personality, one that can talk as well as create multimedia, as per your request. It may not always look perfect, but hey, if you truly are a fan, a slightly elevated nose in her digital avatar is the last of your concerns in the pursuit of happiness.
To our question of "Just why," the adult content starlet notes that Sophie AI is a way of "offering fans a unique and more personal way to connect with Sophie Dee." Of course, it's another avenue for strengthening her finance channels, just the way OnlyFans allowed adult film stars to dissociate from studios and become the sole owner of the content (and money) generated from OnlyFans.
But Sophie AI is not OnlyFans, where a starlet like Dee still has to put in efforts — like prepping, shooting, and editing media — to engage with her fans. Dee argues that a personalized chatbot like the one modeled after her persona is here to "foster a deeper connection."
"The key is in the AI's ability to provide individualized responses, creating an unparalleled sense of understanding and companionship in the digital sphere," she adds. Focus on "individualized" here.
That's because, unlike a video — a short clip or film – which is watched the same by all her fans, the chatbot pushes a different version of Dee for each person. For some, it would be vanilla romance, while others might find it overtly naughty depending on their interests and past chat history.
"This is not cheating!"
Citing the example of an interaction with one of her fans, which happens to be a couple, Dee says one of the partners is not okay if their significant other watches her OnlyFans content. It feels like "emotional cheating," she notes, since one of them is spending money on OnlyFans content for their gratification.
"SophieAI is completely AI generated so there's no threat of another person coming in between a marriage," Dee tells us. However, she takes the safe route here and cautions that it is not going to replace the human connection. There's plenty of research that says it's unhealthy to bank on a digital companion so much that you start losing touch with — or start despising — real human connections.
"It's just like porn. It raises your expectations with sex to such a high choreographed standard that when you find yourself doing the real thing, it feels meh, boring, or even utterly disappointing," a psychology expert tells me. Dee doesn't want her digital AI likeness to stir any such trouble.
Instead, she claims that Sophie AI is here to "help explore desires in a safe and judgment-free zone," or "even just offering a sympathetic ear for you to vent." But people seem to be going just in the opposite direction. Replika continues to be stunningly popular, but there are a ton of other options that will do the job for free.
With chatbots that don't hide their smutty sides, such as those modeled after Dee and Reid, the target audience knows exactly what they are getting. And they are more than happy to indulge. In Dee's case, her AI chatbot avatar will cost a minimum of $4.99 per month to indulge in your wildest fantasies without ever budging sideways.
For $10, Sophie AI will even create a video where Sophie is doing exactly what you tell her to do. It's like having a pornographic video starring your favorite starlet doing what you’ve imagined for a small fee. At the same time, it’s also an immortal insurance, of sorts, for Dee.
"Now I just feel like, with the AI, I can continue. Even if I decide to stop one day from shooting adult stuff, it can carry on," she told The Washington Post earlier this month. It's a great act of entrepreneurial decision-making at Dee's end. But it may not be a positive force for everyone.
"Look. If it lets me see Sophie wear what I have always dreamt of. Do what I tell her to do and see it on video. I am willing to pay for Sophie AI," a fan who is a visitor of the r/SophieDee sub-Reddit tells Athenil.
"It's a dangerously good idea. I refuse to believe that an average person would pay for Dee and ask it questions about spirituality," a psychology expert tells Athenil. Of course, there are other AI companions for that.
Or even humans out there, trained in the art of psychological healing, or just a few good friends. For now, it seems Sophie AI is a product of cutting-edge AI tech dangling the bait of an eerily pleasing, behaviorally perfect digital companion. A lot of folks would bite into it.
And oh, did I tell you that Sophie AI relies on the Llama large language model offered by Meta, the overlord of Facebook and Instagram, and also the reason behind our digital addiction miseries as well as privacy nightmares. Yeah, there's that!