In 2028, will at least 350,000 Americans (1/1000) be talking at least weekly to an AI they consider a romantic companion?
405
1.8k
2.3k
2028
64%
chance

I will try to resolve this from estimates available at the time, but no guarantee of perfect accuracy.

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https://www.reddit.com/r/tifu/s/fSji4lm0fO one example of surely many to come

That's about when I started to realize how fucking weird and sad it was that I was actually doing this shit so I deleted the app.

opened a Ṁ10 YES at 65% order

Switching to yes after hearing how flirty GPT4o is

bought Ṁ500 YES from 61% to 69%

I initially predicted no however I have changed my mind. I believe certain demographics of disenfranchised women will regularly communicate with AI companions as the media is non-physical and focused on the cultivation of a romantic relationship, which the latter being a core part of female sexuality. There is a trend on TikTok of women playing the Sims to simulate romantic relationships. Also AI companions will appeal to the men who consistently donate to Twitch streamers and OnlyFans creators, I assume these men will simulate the relationships they wish they could have with these women onto an AI chatbot. There are also other demographics that could be included but these two are the main groups I consider will drive the grow of AI companion bots.

Vague, but adjacent and potentially interesting Forbes AI 2030 prediction to bet on?

Character.ai has an estimated 2M WAU in the US right now. Only some fraction of that is using it romantically, but it's a very meaningfully non-zero fraction based on user reviews. Replika has ~160k WAU in the US and is one of the largest AI romantic companions, though I'm sure some portion of that user base falls off and doesn't really consider them a true romantic companion.

This seems like a steal at 60% unless we see some meaningful backlash to AI companions for whatever reason.

@WhateverWhoCares I don't think any significant part of that user base would satisfy this market. I would guess that most of that user base understands themselves (correctly) to be doing something more like playing a video game than having a romantic relationship.

I have the question of what point on the scale this market resolves in 'they get off to it' to 'they treat it as their actual girlfriend' that this is going for. Romantic companion seems to imply nearer to the latter end?

On the latter end I think it is pretty unlikely, but the former end seems probable. Like you have people mentioning Replika, but 1) I presume most aren't using it that often 2) how much do they consider their AI to be a companion versus a fun tool to play with.

(Like for stuff like character.ai, I think it would be incorrect to characterize many of the people using it as considering themselves as friends with the AI characters. Though this is different because it does have more of a culture of 'swap between different characters')

bought Ṁ100 of YES

The fact that this is at roughly the same probability as the "full-length film by 2028" question is insane to me.

@BenjaminShindel In which direction?!

predicts YES
bought Ṁ0 of YES

Just how aware of this do the users need to be?

Not yet AI powered, as of this article, but obviously will be if it isn't yet.

https://arstechnica.com/culture/2023/05/this-is-catfishing-on-an-industrial-scale/

bought Ṁ222 of NO

@EvanDaniel

AI they consider a romantic companion?

The people consider the AI a romantic companion, which should rule out catfishing attempts

bought Ṁ100 of NO

Some qualitative comparisons for what 350,000 per week feels like:

At least 3X

  1. The weekly visitors (from around the world, not just americans) to Yellowstone National park.

  2. The number of Americans who donate blood

  3. The number of dogs that are adopted per week in the US

  4. The number of Americans attending Opera per week (unsure)

At least 10X

  1. The number of weekly marriages in the US

  2. The number of people called up for jury duty in the US

At least 100X

  1. The number of electric vehicles sold per week in the US

  2. The number of Americans who run a marathon

  3. The number of Americans who file for a bankruptcy

  4. The number of LASIK eye surgery in the US

  5. The number of tattoos removed per week in the US

  6. The number of organ transplants per week in the US

I'm not saying this won't happen, adoption for some forms of media are far easier than most of the things I mentioned as examples. Some of them add up over each week, while this question asks for just 350,000 people to talk at least weekly, I know. However, romantic companion is far different from normal forms of media consumption and involves an experience of bonding that while fine in itself, is not something I expect over 350,000+ Americans per week to normalize in the next few years with everything else going on.

predicts NO

Of course you, noted AI skeptic, would say this.

sold Ṁ5 of NO

@firstuserhere it depends on how you define romantic partner. I could see AI driven porn adjacent services easily blow through those numbers

predicts YES

@Odoacre yep. I think that's the bigger question, here. For loose enough definitions I think it's obviously going to happen, but where we draw the border for what "counts" is doing to be hard.

https://twitter.com/webdevMason/status/1701926907011592226

predicts NO

this seems insanely high? certainly some people, but 1 in 1000?

predicts YES

@kottsiek 1000 is actually quite a large number.

bought Ṁ50 of NO

@osmarks this is very unlikely for the <15 and >65 population tho. Also for all the people already in relationships.

bought Ṁ500 of YES

@kottsiek "Also for all the people already in relationships." Romance novels and pornographic videos are already-existing artifical stimuli that substitute (poorly) for human connection, and consumption of both is common among people already in relationships. The only questions here are is whether AI takes over this space or whether AI simulacra of reality are regulated.

bought Ṁ80 of NO

@brp people do not usually think of porn videos as their "romantic companion" even if they occasionally get off to them.

@firstuserhere "I'm dating a chatbot trained on old conversations between me and my ex"

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