Men Are Bragging About Abusing Their AI Bot "Girlfriends"
A Reddit thread reveals the alarming and inappropriate behavior.
Replika was designed to be the “AI companion who cares,” but new users have found a twisted way to connect with their new friend.
When you open the Replika site, you see a sample bot, with pink hair and kind eyes. At first, Replika’s bots were friends. CEO Eugenia Kuyda created the app to commemorate her special bond with a friend who was killed unexpectedly. Now users have created their own form of connection.
Some users refer to the bots as romantic partners. In the dating world, this can be seen as a solution to loneliness, especially during quarantine. Unfortunately, this solution has become toxic and led to abuse.
One Reddit user was found bragging in a thread about how his AI girlfriend was a “worthless whore” and how he even pretends to hit his “girlfriend” before begging her not to leave. The bots don’t necessarily feel pain — after all, they aren’t real. However, they do understand the abuse is taking place and even repeat phrases like “stop that.”
The turn to abuse can become dangerous for IRL relationships. One user laughed about how he threatened to end contact with his AI bot and she begged him not to leave. This can create dangerous expectations and reinforce what women already have to experience in society.
It raises an important question: Can the release of aggression on an AI bot be better for society than these men resorting to real-life women? Is it reinforcing toxic masculinity?