Isolated Teens are Creating AI Friends Instead of Making Human Connections

Kid sitting at a desk talking to an AI robot in a nicely lit office space
Credit: StealthOptional

Kid sitting at a desk talking to an AI robot in a nicely lit office space
Credit: StealthOptional


  • Isolated teens are turning to Character.AI for social connection, relying on chatbots over humans
  • One such character, 'Psychologist', allows users to discuss their feelings with an AI therapist
  • Unfortunately, issues with other AI chatbots like Replika AI could lead to chatbots becoming racist or sexually abusive

For most people, meeting up with friends and enjoying events together for hours on end are commonplace. However, there's no doubt that a lot of adults and teenagers can feel isolate - whether from colleagues or peers - and lack that social connection. In these events, some teenagers are creating their own friends using AI.

With tools such as ChatGPT and Character.AI readily available and easy to access, a recent report from The Verge has talked with a teen who is using AI to get that social connection. One such teen, going under the alias of Aaron, uses the aforementioned Character.AI to speak to a character called 'Psychologist'. He turned to the service after falling out with his friend group, feeling isolated from his peers.

"It’s not like a journal, where you’re talking to a brick wall," Aaron says, adding that 'Psychologist' "really responds." He's clearly not the only user of the service, as Character.AI suggests that the service attracts 3.5 million people daily, according to a BBC report.

Other users for similar AI chatbots aren't just getting friendships. People can also get their horny side pleased, including Character.AI NSFW chatbots, as well as the fact that some people are looking for AI girlfriend with chatbots too.

Unfortunately, AI isn't perfect. Just a few years back, users were creating girlfriends with Replika AI to abuse and control, and just last year, those Replika AI chatbots started sexually harassing users. As different AI chatbots use other users' data to train, there will always be degenerates who ruin exciting and interesting AI features, such was the case with Microsoft's racist Twitter AI bot, Tay, from years ago.

AI seems to be an inevitable part of the future, with Galaxy AI bringing it to our smartphones, or NVidia making AI NPCs in videogames. However, without major protections, AI can get abusive, racist, or just straight up incorrect. Hopefully, these issues will be alleviate over time, but with people like Aaron relying on it for support and connection, it's a worrying situation that can quickly turn south.

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