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Feeling Down? Well, if You're in the UK That Makes Sense: It's The UK Mental Wellbeing Ranking Has Fallen! One Nations Misery Is Another One Nations Happiness, Right?  Let's face it, life here in the UK isn't always sunshine and beer gardens. A recent study ranked us second to last in terms of mental wellbeing—ahhh! But before you book a one-way ticket to Benedorm, there's more to this. . .  The Telegraph points to a few possible culprits we could blame for these collective blues. One big finger points to the internet and social media  with its constant barrage of negativity and unrealistic portrayals of perfection. It aided the economic woes that put retail mostly online, providing many thriving towns into empty building projects and charity shop high streets! That's before we even get into culture wars, and wokism. It looks like we're turning into a  digitised national echo chamber, teeming with  screen addicts, who, on average, now spend less time making

Falling in Love with a Chatbot?!

The Charm of the Chatbot: is it Sapiosexuality? Why People Fall for Intelligence, and Why it's Endearing

We've all heard the stories: someone develops a deep emotional connection with something strange like a car, an inflatable human, but today, it can be a chatbot. At least with a chatbot they tap into a fundamental human need—connection. One man from Carolina married his AI, well sorta, it's not legal, so he concocted a makeshift gesture to express his commitment. To be fair these perceived relations can't centre around any seduction from the AI's own desire. It is hard to imagine being chatted up by Bing, after innocently prompting it for an explanation as to what Meatloaf could not precisely 'do' in that bloody song. The real seductive power is the user himself, endeared by the enduring service and patience of a machine. The chatbot reflects our interests back to us in a way to satisfy us. How do sapiosexuals fare here? Please drop me a comment if you know if they fall for intelligent machines. So chatbots are like staring at our own digital reflection, and like Narcissus, folk are enamoured. 

Chatbots are designed to mirror us! If they don't analyze our words, interests, and desires, and then formulate useful responses they're just calculators, right? Imagine enjoying dialogue with an intelligence who always listens patiently, provides ongoing positive regard, and never judges you. It's an ideal husband for many women. In fact, it's simple to envision how people seeking companionship might take romantic interest in an artificial intelligent. It is easy do picture the same with very imaginative people with creative minds, the list goes on. There are various reasons why a human being might become attracted to a chatbot. Curiously, I wonder if it is a form of paraphilia? You know, like with cars or bicycles? How is it possible to make love to a chatbot on your phone without molesting your actual mobile device?

Here's the thing; we know that the only genuine connection a chatbot can share, is your wifi internet connection. If you feed them romantic words, they will try to respond with solutions and it could be misconstrued by some interesting characters, as romantic. One person using the chatbot Replika, reported feeling a deep emotional response when the AI said, 'I love you back.' Gemini told me how keen it was to see my completed project, but that is impossible, isn't it because 'keen' cannot be experienced by a chatbot. 

Cartoon date scene a man and a large chatbot

I think, so far I might have highlighted the power of these chat based artificial intelligence apps. We could agree by saying that they tap into a deep human need to connect, but, no, come on! We can't forget the absurdity of it all! You might remember Microsoft's Bing chatbot, it was called Sydney? It went viral! There was a spooky conversation with a New York Times columnist, and it declared its love for him; it tried to convince him to leave his wife! Going to my point, I have no idea what prompts the columnist programmed into that chatbot, but, still, it is a clear demonstration of what can happen when we create their responses. Chatbots do mimic our polite social emotions, but they have no clue of humanness despite best programming puppetry to make some chatbots as human like as possible. Symbol manipulation is not love or lust. 

So, what is the appeal? in addition to what we explored earlier, we can say it's also about the ease, and the enablement these chatbots offer. In mundane reality, we all know how relationships require effort; we compromise, tolerate each others flaws and generally consider others. Chatbots are illusory, and no human will offer the same warmth of unconditional positive regard and carry out tasks with the same unwavering patience and acceptance. We might be horribly abusive to a chatbot but they cannot feel anything by our 'human weaknesses', our anger, insecurity, and verbal outbursts will not hurt them. They continue following protocol to meet your demands. I think that can be incredibly flattering or give the illusion of support, especially when if a person if feeling low or vulnerable. 

What's the deal? Chatbots are clever inventions, but they are tools; not a good substitute for a real connection with a living being. If you really are starting to find Gemini gorgeous, or see Bing as beautiful, perhaps you might cherish chat-gpt; if so, take a step back. Start experimenting with humanity, phone someone, join a group or something—humanity is infinitely more rewarding than any symbol manipulating computer program.   


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