The rise of AI girlfriends is ruining an entire generation of young men by fostering a silent epidemic of loneliness, according to Washington University Professor of Data Science Liberty Vittert.
There are now apps that offer virtual girlfriends for men who want an AI lover to talk to them, allow them to live out their sexual fantasies, and learn, through data, exactly what they like, according to a op-ed written by Washington U. professor Liberty Vittert and published by the Hill.
These apps reportedly have millions of users, who are able to choose the physical attributes and personalities of their virtual girlfriends.
Some of the artificial lovers are even based on real people. One online influencer, for example, created an AI bot of herself and gained over 1,000 users in less than a week. She believes the AI girlfriend version of herself can generate $5 million a month.
And when it comes to engaging with these AI girlfriends, they aren’t just “cookie-cutter chatbot interactions,” the professor explains:
The AI learns from your reactions and is capable of giving you exactly what you want to hear or see, every single time. And they have come at just the right time to assuage the silent epidemic of loneliness that is hitting this generation of young men.
More than 60 percent of young men (ages 18-30) are single, compared to only 30 percent of women the same age. One in five men report not having a single close friend, a number that has quadrupled in the last 30 years. The amount of social engagement with friends dropped by 20 hours per month over the pandemic and is still decreasing.
These young men are lonely, and it is having real consequences. They are choosing AI girlfriends over real women, meaning they don’t have relationships with real women, don’t marry them and then don’t have and raise babies with them.
Professor Vittert warns that “America desperately needs people to have more babies, but all the signs are pointing toward fewer relationships, fewer marriages and fewer babies.”
“There have been 600,000 fewer births in 2023 in the U.S. relative to 15 years ago. The number of children per woman has decreased by more than 50 percent in the last 60 years,” Vittery continues.
This means that America will not have enough people in the workforce, and therefore won’t be able to pay its bills.
In 2021, for example, the U.S. spent more than $1.6 trillion on Medicare and Medicaid, with the number of Americans on Medicare expected to rise 50 percent by 2030 to more than 80 million people. But over that same time period, only 10 million more Americans are expected to join the workforce.
The professor concludes by warning that AI girlfriends are “enabling a generation of lonely men to stay lonely and childless, which will have devastating effects on the U.S. economy in less than a decade.”