Troubles with the AI Companion

A story I imagined for the not-too-distant future where things are not too different

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If you’ve been paying attention to recent news, you’ve probably heard about the technological advances being made in AI Companions. They’re also known as a Robot Buddy.

These types of entities are mostly in a 2D virtual world, with super realistic features. Now companies can build highly personalized robot companies that can learn personal details.

What would we want them to do a few years from now, once the 3D versions of the AI Companion become available in the size and shape of a human?

They might:

  • Act like a friend
  • Be a plus-one for events
  • Help reduce loneliness
  • Do routine tasks at home

We are not too many years away from the very next step, one with major implications for society. That step would be the AI Spouse Companion.

This entity could be created and programmed to be the spouse that the owner wants, and programmed for companionship and sexual activity.

But I can imagine a story that will be common in this future.

A man contacts the manufacturer to complain about his spouse companion, AKA Robot Wife.

“Things aren’t working out for us," he says.

“Thank you for contacting us," is the reply. “Is there a defect or malfunction?"

“No, all is fine in that department."

“So you want a different model?"

“No."

“I am not sure what is needed."

“It just doesn’t feel real enough. I mean, it’s close enough, but I know what will happen too quickly.”

“We can adjust the settings."

“No. No. It’s like I know what words and phrases to use. Like when it’s a football game, she knows which team I want to win, she knows what the plays mean, and she’s happy when our teams win.”

“Okay."

“But I know it’s not the real thing."

“How can things be improved?" And at this point the conversation might shift to a focus on better reading of body language and facial expressions.

We are not far away from the last hurdle, and that is fine-tuning AI Companions to be able to do these final tasks really well. And once they can interpret desires and intentions from a look across the room, then AI Spouse Companions will be here and there and everywhere.

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writer and novelist. traveler and adventurer. looking for fun in the sun. chasing the dream. can't stop the feeling that time is going faster.

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