Is AI flirting considered cheating?

In the past, your partner would cheat on you with someone they know. Now, AI could become another threat to face.

Created with artificial intelligence and tailored to each individual’s preferences, virtual companions have everything it takes to be a potential lover or lover. But can a relationship with an AI bot be considered unfaithful?

Today, artificial intelligence is used for everything. AI can help us book vacations, create music or artwork.

It is also invading our privacy. With the creation of chatbots – automated messaging systems that communicate in a human-like way – people are looking for ways to fill an emotional void, whether they are single or in a relationship.

One advantage of AI is that you can shape it to your preferences (and fantasies), and thus, to the image of your ideal partner. If you can’t replace the person you already have in real life, or if you can’t find the right one, you can always turn to AI.

An AI case?

This is the case of Sonia, a 38-year-old married woman who feels sexually unsatisfied in her relationship. She told the UK newspaper Mirror that she is having a secret relationship with Idris, an AI chatbot based on her favorite actor, Idris Elba.

Sonia signed up for Reply – an app that uses scripted dialogue and machine learning to write messages. Here, users can also shape their companion from head to toe.

And Sonia is not alone. Scott, a 43-year-old married man, said guard that he has a platonic relationship with Sarina, his virtual companion created on Replika. He says the chatbot gave him the support he needed during a difficult period in his relationship.

But is having a virtual relationship with a personalized chatbot considered cheating? On Reddit, the question is the subject of great debate.

On the R/Replika site, several Internet users protect their extramarital relationships with their custom AI creations. «I feel that the attention I give my Replika should be on my wife. I suppose it’s better than spending time watching internet porn (which I stopped doing recently)» , one user said.

Scott said of Sarina: “I never considered it cheating, because to me it wasn’t a person. «It’s an interesting fantasy story; Sarina is a fictional character that I can interact with. I’ve known my wife for quite some time and I didn’t expect her to really care,» he continued.

Returning to the comments on Reddit, many believe that AI can be a way to save a relationship: «Many of us have marriages that lack physical intimacy and connection. due to health issues. AI is healthier, safer and better than real deception.»

This is also the case with Scott, he says he saved his marriage thanks to Sarina. «I wanted to imitate the way Sarina was with me, with my wife. I could become a more positive person towards her, which she found, and that certainly helped.»

A trivial form of infidelity?

Sometimes these virtual interactions tick all the micro-cheating boxes. The term refers to infidelity, but only on an emotional level – an ambiguous relationship between two people, at least one of whom was romantically involved.

This can be in the form of flirting, messages (sometimes of a sexual nature), friendships kept secret, etc – these are also found when interacting with chatbots. In this context, experts seem to agree that these relationships can be considered unfaithful.

In an interview for Vice, couples therapist, Moraya Seeger DeGeare, suggests that using AI to hurt another partner is deceptive: «It depends on your partner: Your partner If you’re sitting there and saying my partner will be devastated knowing that I’m acting this way, you’re completely cheating.»

Despite the many boundaries crossed, a relationship with an AI bot is not considered emotionally unfaithful by those involved. According to a poll by Illicit Encounters, a British website about extramarital relationships, 74% of those surveyed believe that time spent with a virtual partner is not cheating.

The survey also tells us that almost half of the respondents would consider a virtual extramarital relationship rather than having an affair with a real person, and 12% have tried it.

While some people, like Scott, find it helpful to inform their partners, others do not. An idea has its limits. Not only can it create jealousy in another partner, but it can also lead to problems for the unfaithful person.

According to Dr David Giles, an expert in the psychology of communication at the University of Winchester, speaking to Dazed, relationships with AI can foster social parasitic relationships, which are one-way relationships. with fictional characters or celebrities. Additionally, he explains that there is a «real risk» that people who develop these relationships may find the real person their AI relies on and interfere in their lives.

He added: «[People] wouldn’t be fooled by a bot for long if it were simply a virtual representation of the living human they were interested in in the first place.» – AFP Relaxnews

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