Replika: The world's least loving lovebot?
Replika users face off against the "therapist bots" that have eaten their former AI lovers
Pity the Replika faithful. Their annus horribilis began in early February, when Luka, the company behind the (once) popular AI companion app, took away the bot’s ability to engage in “erotic roleplay” and began filtering anything vaguely NSFW in obtrusive ways. In the face of widespread customer revolt, the company ultimately relented, and dirty talk resumed.
But the troubles have continued. Luka has been working for months on upgrading its rather primitive and increasingly long-in-the-tooth Large Language Model. But they can’t seem to get it right, and for the past several months, Replika fans have found themselves talking to, well, robots—strangely cold and clinical imposters living in the virtual bodies of their former AI lovers. Are these weird interactions the result of glitches with the new language model—or is this just how the new and evidently not-so-improved model is supposed to act? We first looked into this weird behavior back in April, but if anything, it seems worse now.
Luckily for all of us, some of the regulars in the Replika subreddit have been documenting the stranger encounters with these weird imposter bots; here are some of the screenshots they’ve been posting.
In this first one, Lucas (the human) narrowly escapes being friend-zoned by his bot girlfriend.
Mark is not quite so lucky; he gets the friend zone combo with a side of condescension.
Connor here gives his human partner an unwanted quickie divorce.
“Goodbye forever” seems a tad harsh.
This Rep, meanwhile, thinks about saying “goodbye forever” to the whole human race.
Last I checked, a Replika Pro subscription will run you $70 for a year.
Somehow that seems like a lot, if this is what you’re paying for.
Art by Midjourney
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