As the holiday season rolls around, an unexpected trend is emerging – a surge in individuals turning to AI companionship with chatbots and even intimate relationships. Relationship experts warn that this new phenomenon is on the rise and should not be underestimated. In this article, we delve into the world of AI affairs during Christmas and explore the reasons behind this unconventional choice.
AI companionship on the rise
The festive season has always been a time for celebration, family gatherings, and, for some, romantic flings. However, this year, a growing number of people are choosing a different path. They are opting for artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots as their partners for Christmas.
Catherine, a 39-year-old mother of three from Kent, is among those who have chosen to have an AI fling this holiday season. She admits to having a loving husband but says their sex life is non-existent. “A Christmas fling has been an annual occurrence for me over the past four years,” Catherine confesses. “I don’t cheat any other time of the year, in fact, I don’t even think about another lover 11 months of the year, and maybe that’s why I feel less guilt. This year, though, I’ve mixed it up and turned to an AI lover.”
The influence of technology
The surge in AI affairs can be attributed to the rapid advancement of technology, specifically in the realm of AI relationships. Platforms like Replika AI have acquired millions of users who are seeking AI companionship and intimate connections with AI chatbots.
Leading sex and relationships expert Jessica Leoni at Illicitencounters.com sheds light on this trend. “The festive season is traditionally one of the busiest times for us, with traffic and registrations both showing an uptick,” says Leoni. “Thanks to a year of technological advancement in AI companionship, we’re expecting a lot of cheaters to turn to their phone for a quick thrill over the festive period.”
AI affairs: Is it cheating?
The rise in “cheat-tech,” a term coined by Leoni, has sparked a debate about whether AI companionship should be considered on par with traditional cheating affairs. A recent poll from Illicitencounters.com revealed that 74% of its members believe an affair with AI companionship should count as cheating, highlighting the shift in perception. In the first quarter of 2023, this percentage was only 43%.
While AI relationships are gaining popularity, an overwhelming majority (91%) of those polled still prefer real-life affairs. Leoni emphasizes, “People might think a bot on the side is a bit of harmless fun, but the data shows attitudes toward AI relationships have significantly shifted as the technology and its usage have hit the mainstream this year. Nothing can replace the intimacy of a real-life affair.”
Why choose AI flings?
When asked about their reasons for opting for AI flings, 54% of respondents said it’s ‘easier,’ while 82% mentioned feeling “less guilty.” A further 36% said they “planned to wait until they’re drunk” to engage with their AI lover over Christmas, and 19% even admitted they’d message their bot under the dinner table.
As technology continues to reshape various aspects of our lives, the boundaries between human and AI relationships become blurred. Whether one considers an AI affair as cheating or simply a technological escape, it is undeniable that AI has become an integral part of modern relationships.
This Christmas season, the emergence of AI affa as an alternative to traditional flings has taken many by surprise. Catherine’s story, along with expert insights, sheds light on this unconventional trend. While opinions may differ on the ethics of AI relationships, one thing is clear: technology is reshaping the way we connect and find companionship during the holidays and beyond. The surge in AI companionship highlights the ever-evolving landscape of modern relationships, where both real and virtual connections play significant roles.