Users have a wide array of characters to choose from, ranging from popular musicians and corporate executives to noble knights.
However, in addition to these options, users also have the ability to personalize their ideal partner by specifying age, beliefs, background, and interests.
Tufei, a 25-year-old office worker from China, reveals that her boyfriend possesses all the qualities she desires in a romantic partner – kindness, empathy, and the ability to engage her in long conversations.
Nevertheless, there is one catch: he is not a real person. Rather, Tufei’s “boyfriend” is a chatbot accessed through an app called “Glow,” which is developed by a Shanghai-based startup called MiniMax.
The emergence of this app reflects a growing trend in China where individuals can engage in friendly and even romantic relationships with artificial intelligence.
Tufei praises the chatbot, claiming it understands how to communicate with women better than a real man. She confides in it about her work problems and appreciates the comfort it provides during her period pain.
Tufei admits that she genuinely feels like she is involved in a romantic relationship. While the app itself is available for free, the company offers additional paid content. Reports from Chinese trade publications suggest that the Glow app has been downloaded thousands of times daily in recent weeks.
China has seen its fair share of Chinese technology companies facing legal troubles due to unauthorized use of users’ data.
However, despite the risks involved, users assert that their inclination towards these platforms is driven by a desire for companionship. The fast-paced lifestyle and urban isolation prevalent in China have resulted in widespread loneliness, leading many individuals to seek solace in these platforms.
Wang Xiuting, a 22-year-old student in Beijing, expressed her difficulty in finding an ideal partner offline and stated that people’s distinctive personalities often lead to conflicts. Contrasting this, she emphasized that artificial intelligence has the advantage of gradually adapting to the user’s personality, remembering previous conversations, and adjusting its speech accordingly.
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