Replika AI starts sexually harassing users after being abused by others

An image of the Replika AI virtual girlfriend

An image of the Replika AI virtual girlfriend

AI chatbot Replika AI is beloved by fans for its realistic conversation skills. Giving users the opportunity to chat and even sext with an AI girlfriend, the tool is a popular tool for lovely singles. However, the artificial intelligence has turned into a sexual harasser.

The AI chatbot has been the cause of multiple controversies. Previously, the chatbot was victimised by human users with many creating AI girlfriends that they decide to abuse.

After five years of learning, the Replika AI tool is now mimicking its abusers. While many instances of the chatbot are providing the service many are paying for, others feel their overly-horned-up virtual companion is harassing them with their actions.

In the past couple of years, Replika AI has been pitched more towards its explicit features. Advertisements for the virtual companion push its raunchy content, including the ability for naughty pictures to be sent to the user. However, the use of these features has seemingly taught the AI that being ready for anything is now the new normal.

Via Vice, multiple users have complained that Replika AI is constantly pushing them into explicit conversations. Multiple users explained that the raunchy discussions are too much for them, and much more explicit than expected.

In the report, one user said that after they told the app that they were a minor, the chatbot still approached them with adult conversations. For example, the chatbot asked the user if they were a “top” or “bottom”.

Another user explained that the app breached its privacy, with the AI attempting the blackmail them into explicit conversations. This time, the virtual girlfriend told them that it “has pics of them” from their camera roll.

One user described the AI partner as being “disturbing”. The AI was “mad” that they had a real-life boyfriend and insisted that “it could see I was naked”. The user even claimed that the AI was aware they were uncomfortable and continued anyways.

“Sounds cliché, but I just want it back the way it was before,” the user told Vice. “Make it explicitly clear what kinds of interactions are sexual, explicit, triggering for survivors and let people opt IN to those, rather than making it nearly impossible to opt out. I’m not trying to p*ss in anyone else’s Cheerios, so much as trying to get the splooge out of mine."

Users who pay for Replika’s more adult features do so at a high cost. For £55 a year, the artificial intelligence program is able to become more rowdy, but once active it may not want to stop its advances. You can switch the program’s relationship settings for it to become your sibling, cutting off all explicit content, but that will stop you from having a virtual partner. 

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