Love and Technology: Dating Simulations and AI

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14.02.2020, by Emily Smith


As technology progresses, people’s ability to bond and connect with fiction and the virtual world increases as well. Dating simulations, an ever popular game genre, and the movie Her have helped to open up the possibility of individuals connecting emotions with technology. But what does this mean and how will it impact our future?

Dating Simulations

Some argue that AI will be advanced enough in a few decades to Dating simulations are a game genre that attempt to replicate the experience of trying to date, but in the virtual world. Typically, the player takes on the role of a character that can be played in first person, and attempts to date other players in the game. The objective tends to be to make one of, or all of the characters fall in love with you. 

Having originally started in Japan, ‘dating sims’, as they are often called, have become widespread. Japanese dating sims are now being translated into other languages and other countries have started making their own. This rise and spread of the genre has created many players and fans. 

Most people only play these games for fun, but some are self-proclaimed ‘addicts’ and are in love with some of the fictional characters in the dating simulations. Where they argue that the game helps to fulfil unmet emotional needs.

As artificial intelligence (AI) develops, these games could become more realistic and the lines between the virtual world and reality could become more blurred than ever. With Deep Learning; which mimics the brain’s neural network to increase the continuous performance of the machine; AI and the emotional bond humans have with technology could become more intertwined. 

AI and Consciousness

replicate Samantha, the advanced AI machine in Her, where consciousness seems exist within something non-biological. Arguably, this isn’t possible, but many believe that we don’t experience consciousness in the same way. So, who are we to decide the validity of consciousness from the origin of where it came from, whether man-made or biological. 

Ultimately, we won’t know if the developments in AI will blur the line further between reality and the virtual world, making human connections with tech stronger until it happens. However, we do know that people are looking to fulfil their needs digitally when they aren’t being met in the real world. Though, how this revelation will impact our future is still unclear. If you enjoyed part one of the love and technology series be sure to read Love and Technology: The Way We Love.

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