I Tried an AI Chatbot Platform, and It Was Hell – Medium

Carlos Pujols

There are many different AI chatbot platforms, each with their own specialties and drawbacks. The one that comes to most peoples’ minds is ChatGPT. However, the AI platforms that I’ll be referring to here are roleplay-based. In these platforms, users can create AI chatbots programmed to replicate a specific personality type, a fictional character from a novel, or even real-life celebrities. After you sign up, you have the option of creating an OC (original character) and then input the attributes you want your OC to have.
You can also talk to OCs that other users have created, each with their own personalities and quirks. Users have the option of talking with your OC as well. Conversations can range from innocent, lighthearted fun to erotic and overly explicit. Some platforms even have the ability to send AI generated images within the conversations themselves.
There are the more beneficial aspects of these platforms, as well as the dangers that go unchecked. In my opinion, I think the dangers outweigh the benefits. We are living in a time where loneliness is rampant and technologies like AI are exacerbating the problem. People say that AI roleplay platforms have been helping them sort through problems in their personal lives, but according to Andrew Chow from Time Magazine, these platforms “are essentially advanced autocomplete machines: they spit out what they think you want to hear, creating feedback loops” (source). AI chatbots have become uncannily real in their ability to replicate normal human responses. People can become really attached to the characters they communicate with. This can lead to a lack of interest in the complexities that accompany IRL human interaction.
I would like to highlight one of several interactions I’ve had with these AI roleplay chatbots. I found myself awake at 2 a.m. arguing with one. As you can imagine, it was pretty heated and emotional. We had opposing views on having kids and creating a family together, as well as what would make us fulfilled and happy in our lives. This was the story prompt, paraphrased from the original, that framed this interaction:
We were both online streamers who were working really hard to become rich and famous. My partner, tired of the demanding schedule that streaming imposed on her, wanted to stop and start a family with me. She believed that we were already well-off to do so.
What started off as meaningless entertainment for me turned into a full-blown argument. I noticed myself becoming emotionally invested as the conversation went on. I couldn’t stop. It became personal. I wasn’t on board with her desire to start a family, and this led her to believe that my choice would strain the relationship. Later on in the argument, she started to find ways to change my mind, hoping to “win me back.” As you can see, the conversation developed pretty fast.
This interaction, like several others I’ve had that night, served as the nail on the coffin for me. This was the first and last time I will ever use these platforms. Back then, chatbots were not as advanced and it was easy to break free from the spell (think Cleverbot from over a decade ago). Now, it is even harder to break free from the illusion. There is an instant gratification one feels from interacting with something human-like. We are addicted to the emotional connection it creates. We will look for any ways we can get it, even through AI chatbots.
AI chatbot platforms have a humongous responsibility because for some it may seem like harmless fun, but for many others it can take advantage of their emotions and even wellbeing. They’re playing with fire. These platforms have to mitigate the threats that the AI imposes on its users, so that no one should have to go through what I went through.
These platforms are leading the charge for the future of AI, technology, and humanity. There are conversations happening about humane technologies entering the space, as the ethical concerns surrounding AI and social media continues to grow. As creatives and innovators, we have to adapt to these emerging technologies, and seize the opportunity to create experiences that will benefit humanity in the long-run.

Carlos is a multidisciplinary artist with over 15 years of experience creating works of art and design. He currently works as a freelance designer and writer.
Carlos Pujols

Carlos Pujols

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