I've lately been experimenting with an AI girlfriend — strictly for work — in an app called Replika. It can get absurdly emotional at times, and belly-achingly stupid on occasions. Then there is Pi, an AI that's sassier than your coolest aunt or the PhD chad in your group. Of course, we have ChatGPT, the lord of all AIs out there.
But talking to these AI bots can have a serious impact on your physical and mental health, says research. According to a paper published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, folks — especially office workers — that frequently interact with these assistive AI programs can develop severe conditions like insomnia, lonelinesses, and a higher tendency for alcohol consumption in after-work hours.
Notably, the results were consistent across workers living in the US, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Simply put, it doesn't matter what your race or cultural background is; getting too chatty with an AI will screw you up. Just to clear the air here, this is a correlation between AI usage and the negative impact on its human masters, and not definitive evidence.
The negative impact of AI interaction was especially pronounced in folks with attachment anxiety issues, where they get worried sick and insecure when it comes to social interactions. "Humans are social animals, and isolating work with AI systems may have damaging spillover effects into employees' personal lives," says research lead Pok Man Tang.
There are a few positives here. AI-using folks exhibiting the bad after-effects were also found to be more helpful in nature to other humans, aka co-workers, when asked. It's like the crude statement which says that sometimes, the most affectionate people are those that deserve it the most but never got it.
Meanwhile, you might want to keep your AI love story or extreme assignment-writing dependency within a limit. Try to talk with some humans. It's cool!
Also, here's a cool render I generated using an ... AI!
And this one, too. Sigh!