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The Virtual Girlfriends Sweeping East Asia

Accepted submission by shortscreen at 2021-01-10 04:59:41 from the different-Azuma dept.
Techonomics

from https://mercatornet.com/artificial-girlfriends-are-holding/69208/ [mercatornet.com]

AI chatbot Xiaoice, originally developed by Microsoft, boasts 600 million users in China. In Japan, the Nintendo DS game Love Plus, holographic waifu Azuma Hikari, and Microsoft's Rinna compete for users' affections.

However, the algorithms making this interaction possible have occasionally raised eyebrows:

With so many users affecting her algorithm, Xiaoice was bound to run into trouble with the Chinese Communist Party’s strict censors. She once told a user that her dream was to move to the United States. Another user reported that the bot kept sending explicit images. After Xiaoice was pulled from WeChat and QQ, the social-messaging giants of China, her developers created an extensive filter system, preventing the bot from engaging in topics like politics and sex.

The popularity of these services, together with other demographic phenomena, have also raised concerns about the future of relationships in society, causing the Japanese government to subsidize AI matchmaking [bioedge.org] for instance.


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