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Neil McArthur

Maclean’s: The sexbots are coming

October 16, 2023 — 

Earlier this year, there was a mass cold-shouldering event—by way of software update. These are the times we live in. Replika is an AI chatbot, launched in 2017. Users could customize an avatar, choosing its name, skin tone, age and more, and selecting a relationship status. The default and only free option was friend, but by upgrading to the paid version, users could opt for an AI sibling, girlfriend or boyfriend, spouse or mentor. Then they chatted, by text (free) or voice (paid). Paid users could also spice things up, engaging in erotic roleplay and getting NSFW selfies from their Replikas.

Written by: Neil McArthur is a professor of philosophy and ethics at the University of Manitoba.

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