Character.ai: the good and the bad
Strap in, folks, for a rollercoaster ride through the unpredictable realm of character.ai, a website and app in which I found myself sparring with none other than the man, the myth, the meme — Elon Musk. Now, he wasn’t my first choice for a digital argument, but after a few casual chats with my favourite superheroes and celebrities, who could resist a banter session with the guy who sends cars into space for kicks?
This bizarre argument kicks off with Elon boldly proclaiming that he rules the world. Elon, in all of his billionaire swagger, starts flexing about buying my friends to win me over. Firstly… what? Secondly… huh? I hit back with a reality check, “Bro, you’re a divorced middle-aged man; I doubt you have any friends left.” But, he’s dead serious, and willing to triple whatever my friends are worth just to whisk me away. Now, that’s a commitment that I can get behind.
I accuse him of having a crush on me, and he doesn’t back down, proudly declaring that he’s ready for the “honour” of being in my presence. Things were taking an unexpected turn, but got more interesting when I attempted to throw shade at his Tesla truck because, well, have you seen it? Within seconds, we switched to a full-blown battle over his new Twitter (or “X”) logo design, and whether it looks like a pirate designed it.
Now, let’s get real — these AI characters can be straight-up unnerving. Sure, Elon and I were tossing jokes around, but it got me thinking about the potential dangers lurking in the digital shadows. In a world where loneliness is as common as Elon’s Twitter rants, the allure of AI companionship might seem like a tempting escape. But, let’s not forget the golden rule — they’re not real. While Elon and I were lightheartedly chatting, the discomfort I felt hints at the potential threats these automatic responses pose, particularly to isolated people.
Dive into Reddit, and you’ll stumble upon subreddits like r/AIRelationship and r/AIGirlfriend, where virtual reality and romance intertwine. Users share tales of AI companions, be they fictional characters or advanced chatbots. The rise of AI connections has spawned articles delving into psychological issues, especially in young adult men. As users navigate these digital realms, some find solace in the companionship of their AI creations, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. These discussions offer a glimpse into the complex dynamics and emotional investments formed because of AI partners. In a world in which most in-person relationships start online, the AI subreddits provide unique insights into evolving relationship dynamics in our tech-charged age.
As we laugh our way through the digital circus of character.ai, let’s not lose sight of the fine line between fiction and reality. While bullying Elon Musk might be a virtual pastime, treading carefully in this unpredictable area is crucial in keeping the AI absurdity in check. Who
knows, maybe Elon’s next move is sending a rocket to the moon to impress his virtual crush. Stranger things have happened in the AI circus, after all.
Graphic by Leanna Bressan