S6, Episode 3: Love in Time of Replika (April 25th, 2023)

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We explore the lives of people who are in love with their AI chatbots. Replika is a chatbot designed to adapt to the emotional needs of its users. It is a good enough surrogate for human interaction that many people have decided that it can fulfill their romantic needs. The question is whether these kinds of romantic attachments are real, illusory, or good for the people involved. Apps like Replika represent the future of love and sex for a subpopulation of people, so we discuss the ethics of the practice. Host Barry Lam talks to philosophers Ellie Anderson and David Pena-Guzman of the Overthink podcast about what theories of love would say about these kinds of relationships. AI lovers include Alex Stokes and Rosanna Ramos. Original scoring by Aaron Morgan.