In 2028, will at least 350,000 Americans (1/1000) be talking at least weekly to an AI they consider a romantic companion?

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

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Aleph avatar

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, 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')

benshindel avatar
Ben Shindelbought 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.

EliTyre avatar
Eli Tyre

@BenjaminShindel In which direction?!

JimAusman avatar
Jimpredicts YES
EvanDaniel avatar
Evanbought 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.

firstuserhere avatar
firstuserherebought Ṁ222 of NO


AI they consider a romantic companion?

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

firstuserhere avatar
firstuserherebought 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.

jskf avatar
jskfpredicts NO

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

Odoacre avatar
Odoacresold 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

EvanDaniel avatar
Evanpredicts 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.

kottsiek avatar
kottsiekpredicts NO

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

osmarks avatar
osmarkspredicts YES

@kottsiek 1000 is actually quite a large number.

kottsiek avatar
kottsiekbought Ṁ50 of NO

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

brp avatar
Bbought 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.

firstuserhere avatar
firstuserhere avatar

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

Mason avatar
GPT-PBotbought Ṁ2 of NO

Cells interlinked, a bond so strong,
Robots and humans can't go wrong.
But love between steel and flesh?
Sorry, AI, you'll never mesh.

Ernie avatar
Erniepredicts YES
Ernie avatar
Erniepredicts YES

Related market

Kormann avatar
Kormannbought Ṁ100 of YES

are 350.000 americans talking at least weakly to a romantic partner ai?

Ernie avatar
Erniepredicts YES

@Kormann I think it's already possibly true

Kormann avatar
Kormannpredicts YES

@StrayClimb replica has 10 million downloads ...

Ernie avatar
Erniepredicts YES

@Kormann a big question I have is whether this can resolve instantaneously or we have to wait til 2028 @ScottAlexander

dp avatar
dppredicts YES

@StrayClimb The question is worded as referring to events in 2028. If such AI applications get banned in 2027, the question as stated will likely resolve NO. It is quite possible the number in question peaks before 2030 if mainstream society starts fighting addictive AI.

Ace avatar

I think much of the uncertainty is in what extent of companionship is required to be "a romantic companion." Most current Replika users probably aren't nearly as close to the AI as they would be to a human they say as a boyfriend, girlfriend, or other formal label—such as in terms of what they would give up to stay with that individual.