The rise of virtual reality technology has led many to take comfort in digital space, creating meaningful virtual relationships. One expert claims that virtual reality relationships will one day be so commonplace that VR babies will be normal for couples.
What are VR babies?
Reported by women’s entertainment and news website Female First, VR babies are expected to be a growing part of future relationships. With the cost of living skyrocketing in recent years, virtual children are expected to be adopted by couples instead of having real, flesh-and-blood kids.
Artificial intelligence expert Catriona Campbell explained that this will start to become more commonplace as technology like The Metaverse expands. With mixed reality getting more advanced in the upcoming decades, many may choose to opt for a virtual family.
With augmented reality glasses and haptic gloves, VR babies will be able to seen and touched. Additionally, they might be able to have settings tweaked to make them as realistic or as easy to care for as possible.
A subscription service for your child
Campbell explains that couples adopting VR babies would not be a free alternative for couples. Instead, every child will be a subscription that parents will have to pay for. If a payment is missed, then parents will have the child taken away from them.
The AI expert claims that subscription services could be around £20 a month. However, additional services — such as ageing up or changing appearance — could cost extra.
For this subscription, virtual children will have simulated speech with AI algorithms that allow them to learn as they spend more time with parents. Similar to modern-day services like Replika, but more advanced, the AI could decent likes and dislikes all on its own.
When will it be common?
Currently, VR babies do not exist, outside of video games like The Sims. However, Campbell believes the tech will be commonplace in the coming decades.
In fact, Campbell believes that virtual children will be so commonplace that 1 in 5 couples will choose to go virtual by 2070. Of course, that depends on whether or not people are still interested in mixed reality by that time.