Talking to your own AI friends

The arrival of Open AI's ChatGPT has brought a new revolution in the field of technology with yet undiscovered implications in business, education, and more. For many, AI can also offer companionship, a digital entity to interact with when human contact is scarce. It's a trend that's been on the rise, with more people turning to AI for comfort and conversation, and now a mixed bag of apps is gaining popularity among those seeking closeness and even spiritual guidance. Today we explore some of the more unusual and notable AI companion apps out there.


Movies such as HER, which foreshadowed human and AI relationships, may not be so far-fetched as AI tools like GPT-4 become more advanced and conversational. As such, AI Girlfriend apps such as Myanima and AI Girlfriend are becoming popular among those looking for a partner or just someone to talk to, which mimics human communication and can provide friendship and enjoyment. (And, just to add, AI boyfriend apps are having quite the moment, too!). However, this can also misfire, as we saw with Snapchat influencer Caryn Marjorie’s bot CarynAI. Created with good intentions- to help those who feel hindered from talking with people they are romantically interested in – the bot was reported to go rogue and be involved in some unsavory conversations.

— Ari, 16, CO (Cassandra Collective)


    Taking a page out of the 2013 Black Mirror episode ‘Be Right Back,’ the desire to create digital simulations of the deceased is slowly gaining momentum as AI-powered technology is used to develop chatbot avatars of people's deceased relatives, preserving their memories and helping with grief such as HereAfter AI. To mimic personality, machine learning algorithms are used to extract information from a person's chat history, social media posts, and digital footprint.But, be warned, the concept of grief bots has also been controversial, as the bot can pose a serious ethical dilemma with a deceased person's identity being misused by a fraudster.

    — Camden, 23, OH (Cassandra Collective)


    As society still figures out the long-term effects caused by COVID lockdowns and their impact on our mental health, AI has emerged as an unexpected ally against loneliness offering companionship and psychological therapy. Bots such as Pi, Replika, and Woebot are designed to be conversational and offer emotional support. Prompting users to ask for advice or talk about whatever's on their mind, the AI uses machine learning to respond in a supportive and understanding manner. However, a word of caution - even though the chatbots can mimic conversations and provide a sense of interaction, ChatGPT can't detect if you're lying, hiding something, or truly sad — skills that come naturally to a good therapist or even a friend.