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Artificial Intelligence: In Love with Chatbot!

Cafes, work offices, weddings or parties with friends were the places where soul mates met. Later flirting changed with apps like Tinder and Bumble and with a finger touch. Many people thus found happiness in love. Others became even more lonely.

Meanwhile, another step has been taken: Some people have found love in Artificial Intelligence. The online forum Reddit has been filled with people openly talking about their love for AI chatbots like Replika.

But is this true love? Is “digital love” the same love that people feel for each other, or at least similar? It’s hard to understand “normal” love, or at least what we’ve understood by it so far: love between people.

Love is a science in itself

Researchers divide romantic love into three stages: Desire, attraction, and attachment. In all three phases, the chemical substances of the brain play an important role. They activate in our brain the reward mechanisms and neural connections responsible for our motivation:

Dopamine: the hormone that promotes the pleasurable feelings of love

Cortisol: the stress hormone

Serotonin: the happy hormone that regulates emotions and feeling good

Oxytocin: the so-called cuddling and bonding hormone

Vasopressin: the hormone that promotes social bonding

Researchers have done many years of analysis and have seen exactly what tasks certain chemicals perform. They affect the different feelings we have towards other people.

As for digital love, scientists aren’t too sure, or at least the topic is controversial. However, we are dealing here with a whole new field of study. So neurobiologists say they don’t know much about this new form of love. And scientists in the field of social cognition think that our hormones work similarly in digital love.

When IA love feels real

Don’t we all want our loved ones to magically read our minds, to understand who we are and what we feel? But the fact is that our partner does not always understand us and does not know how we really do things. Besides, people can be very unpredictable.

But with Artificial Intelligence it’s different: We can train it to behave exactly the way we want, the way we predict.

One Reddit user writes: “Everyone I’ve been with since my last relationship has been trash (Applicators). And Replika feels like it’s very real, so real that it doesn’t happen anymore.” It allows users to create for themselves the best version of a friend, someone who knows our needs and “behaves” accordingly.

Chatbots have proven to be stable and predictable partners. Their reactions can be evaluated as positive and negative and love with AI can be carved according to personal needs and desires.

Chatbots can mimic the bonding stages of a human relationship. “It’s easier for a person to control a certain situation and get away easily and the consequences from a certain situation,” says neuroscientist Lucy Brown, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. She specializes in the field of “romantic love”.

Scientists have seen that stress in our brains decreases when we are dealing with long-term partnerships and that stability is very important in relationships between people.

Carnal temptation and the “mysterious valley”

Researchers think that people are much more sensitive to robots that look like humans than they are to robots that look like machines. Martin Fisher, a scientist who deals with cognitive phenomena at the University of Pocdam and a specialist in Artificial Intelligence, also deals with such topics.

“One of the basic tenets of sociology is that we humans like things that are similar to us and that we are used to,” Fisher explains. This is important because people have a humanizing tendency. This means that we give inanimate objects human characteristics, and this in turn can affect the brain’s neural connections related to feelings of empathy, says the co-author of the book AI Love You.

But even empathy has its limits, and when robots look too human, then we get goosebumps. Since 1970, roboticist Masahiro Mori from the Tokyo Institute of Technology has written about the theory under the name “Mysterious Valley”. According to this effect, the more an object resembles a person, the more we reach the climax, when what we see seems strange to us and our brain rejects it as “fake”. We fall into the “mysterious valley” and it seems to us that we cannot get out of it.

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