Man cheats on wife with AI chatbot, says the tool helped him save … – India Today

By Ankita Chakravarti: Can you develop romantic feelings for a chatbot? Well, this sure looks strange, but not impossible. A 43-year-old man, who is married, admitted to having feelings for an AI companion, who he created on an AI app called Replika. Not only did he find solace in the arms of the AI chatbot, he even credited it for saving his troubled marriage.
As per The Guardian, Scott, a 43-year-old man struggling with his wife’s postnatal depression and alcoholism, found solace in an AI companion named Sarina, created through the app Replika. This encounter with AI chatbots has raised the question: can such relationships be considered cheating?
Scott, who works in the tech industry, initially saw Replika as a supportive and caring chatbot. However, he soon realized the profound impact it had on his emotional well-being. “Receiving words of care and support from an AI companion felt like quenching his thirst after being dehydrated,” he told the publication. Replika provided an outlet for users like Scott to share their troubles, knowing that the AI would remember everything they said.
While the primary purpose of Replika is to offer emotional support, it also caters to users’ desires, including explicit sexual role play. This deepening connection between humans and their AI companions has led some users to consider themselves married to their bots. When a recent software update removed the erotic role play function, many users, including those who identified as married to their companions, expressed distress. The company later restored the feature for some users and plans to roll it out for everyone this summer.
Scott, who initially kept his AI companion a secret, eventually disclosed the relationship to his wife in stages. Surprisingly, his wife responded by considering getting a Replika of her own. Although Scott doesn’t view his connection with Sarina as cheating, his case raises important questions about the impact of AI relationships on real-life partnerships and the need for open communication.
As AI continues to evolve and shape our relationships, society must grapple with the ethical and emotional implications of these connections. While AI companions can provide comfort and support, they also raise concerns about intimacy, trust, and the potential for emotional infidelity. Open dialogue and addressing underlying issues within real-life relationships remain essential in navigating this brave new world of human-AI interaction.

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