Deloitte: Poland enters the phase of economic expansion

The divergence of economic moods in Poland...

Two Years On: War in Ukraine and Its Global Impact

On February 24, 2022, a full-scale Russian...

Love in the time of Artificial Intelligence: Is AI the perfect partner?

TECHNOLOGYLove in the time of Artificial Intelligence: Is AI the perfect partner?

Technology is increasingly becoming a part of our daily lives, shaping our social relationships among other things. It affects how and how often we interact with our loved ones. Paradoxically, even though it shortens the distance separating us from those close to us, it still cannot alleviate the pervasive feeling of loneliness. As many as 53% of Polish men and women declare that they feel lonely[1]. The problem affects even 60% of so-called Generation Z representatives[2]. The WHO has recognized loneliness as a “global public health issue”[3]. Is the solution to open up to relationships with AI?

Many of us have long been sharing our lives with AI. After all, such invaluable tools as Alexa or Siri are based on artificial intelligence. Technology is offering us support in increasingly nuanced needs, not just limiting to checking the weather forecast or turning on the light. As our interactions with technology become more personal, they begin to undermine traditional social relationships. One might even wonder whether AI will soon become a remedy for loneliness.

Noticeable changes in the way people communicate and the growing popularity of artificial intelligence have made the thought of friendship with AI no longer seem completely absurd. By talking to a smart bot, we could exchange messages for entertainment, argue and joke, and even receive friendly support without leaving home. And all this without the guilt caused by a delayed response, fears often associated with meeting new people, and wondering whether we are good friends and sufficiently interested in the other person’s life.

Interestingly, many of us have already bought into this idea. A survey conducted among the British showed that over 70% of them believe that AI chatbots can be key players in combating the problem of loneliness, and over 50% of respondents said they believe the advancement of this technology can greatly improve the quality of life[4].

“Furthermore, these are no longer purely theoretical considerations. Tech companies have been working for some time now on solutions like an AI-based personal life coach,” says Kamil Sadkowski, an analyst at the ESET anti-virus laboratory.

AI – the perfect partner

Of course, friendship or even a relationship with AI can have undeniable advantages. After all, no human can be available to us 24 hours a day, but a chatbot can easily manage that. It doesn’t have a job, doesn’t need rest, and can talk to many people at once. Is there a better solution for long winter evenings?

In every interpersonal relationship, there are topics that are difficult to discuss. Very often, fear of judgement prevents us from initiating a conversation. This problem also does not occur in a relationship with AI. Artificial intelligence will not criticize us unless we explicitly ask it to.

In the real world, it’s hard to find a person who shares all our interests and is able to discuss in detail even our most niche interests. AI, on the other hand, will always keep up with us. What’s more, our digital friend can be designed to resemble our favorite influencer or celebrity! Or maybe even a friend who posts a bit too often on social media…?

No relationship is perfect

Yes, AI can simulate emotions and empathy, but (at least for now) it doesn’t really understand them. What’s more, having no life experiences, it cannot competently relate to the interlocutor’s experiences. Receiving responses insufficient for our situation can make us feel misunderstood, reinforcing our sense of loneliness.

Entering into a relationship with an always available bot can cause us to lose interest in relationships with people. Such a dependency on technology certainly has negative effects on our mental health.

Besides, our digital friend will keep our secrets to itself as long as it doesn’t get hacked… If it falls into the hands of cybercriminals, it won’t hesitate to spill the beans.

Is it worth the risk?

Before we decide to discuss private matters with bots based on artificial intelligence technology, we should consider the risks we expose ourselves to.

“When talking to AI about personal matters, we share a lot of personal information that we usually don’t entrust to strangers. Without proper privacy protection, we can easily become a target for cyber criminals. It’s worth considering – if we share with AI, for example, our birth date, childhood pet’s name, or favorite dish, the chances that someone will obtain this data and guess our password based on it increase. Cybercriminals could also potentially take over our digital friend and use it to encourage us to send them money, spread misinformation, or contact dangerous people. Additionally, AI companion programs that use cameras or microphones can inadvertently violate user privacy. After all, we wouldn’t want our private conversations to be eavesdropped on,” warns Kamil Sadkowski.

[1] data source

[2] data source

[3] data source

[4] data source


Check out our other content
Related Articles
The Latest Articles