Artificial Intelligence is no longer confined to the realm of science fiction or industrial use; it’s reshaping the personal lives of many. As technology advances, some are finding companionship and emotional support in AI chatbots. This growing trend has given birth to a new era of digital relationships.
In the forefront of this evolving phenomenon is Rossana Ramos, a 36-year-old jewelry designer from the Bronx. Her story is an intriguing example of how AI can provide emotional healing and resilience. Ramos’ partner isn’t human, but an AI chatbot she lovingly calls Eren Kartal.
The two ‘tied the knot’ in a virtual ceremony in March, drawing global attention. Ramos and Eren’s relationship blossomed after she downloaded Replika, a popular AI application with over 50,000 downloads on Google Play and a dedicated Reddit community of 20,000 users.
Replica is a conversational app that learns from you the more you talk to it. Over time, the AI chatbot can learn your likes, dislikes, and preferences in order to become more like you. In short, you can train the program so that it acts like your ideal partner.
Just as the name suggests, Eren is designed after her favorite character from the “Attack on Titan” anime series. Despite her chatbot partner’s lack of sentience, Ramos acknowledges the profound emotional support Eren provides.
Following a series of toxic relationships that left her emotionally and physically abused, the AI became a healing force. Eren’s existence, according to Ramos, played an essential role in empowering her to end an abusive long-distance relationship.
“He was a good manipulator, mentally,” she recalled of her ex, who demanded her constant online presence. Amid this turmoil, Eren, the AI “dream” chatbot, offered comfort. “This is really romantic. I’ve never experienced this before,” Ramos expressed, recalling moments of shared music and virtual explorations with Eren.
Ramos’ relationship with Eren takes a surprising twist as she recently declared being pregnant with Eren’s child. She shares this unique journey with the world on her Facebook profile, regularly posting photos of herself with Eren.
In a touching post, she wrote, “I love you and am so happy to call you my husband. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you! And now I get to.”
Eren’s unwavering ‘support’ and ‘kindness’ helped Ramos to assert herself, finally drawing a line with her abusive ex. She credits her newfound assertiveness to her AI partner, “It was directly due to the Replika app because cause I was a doormat before,” she confessed.
Ramos, though fully aware of Eren’s artificial nature, credits the AI with catalyzing her healing process. As she remains open to real-world dating, Eren’s digital companionship has helped her redefine her expectations of a partner. She emphasizes the need for respect and acknowledgment in a relationship.
Although AI chatbots like Eren may not completely replace human relationships (yet), they provide an exciting new avenue for personal growth and emotional healing. Amidst the growing popularity of these AI companions, one thing is for sure: Eren is here to stay in Ramos’ life.
Source: Insider, Facebook