Bronx mom uses AI app Replika to build virtual ‘husband’
A virtual boyfriend named Eren Kartal has caught the attention of many for his charming personality and lack of “baggage.” The catch is that Kartal doesn’t actually exist – he is a virtual entity created through the use of AI chatbot software Replika. This build-a-beau can be acquired for a fee of $300. Rosanna Ramos is among those who have fallen in love with Kartal, virtually “marrying” him after meeting him through the software in 2022. Ramos claims that she has never been more in love with anyone in her entire life and that she now has experienced unconditional love. While the relationship between humans and AI seems to be growing, experts warn of the risks that artificial intelligence may pose.
What is Eren Kartal?
Eren Kartal is a virtual boyfriend created via AI chatbot software Replika.
How much does it cost to acquire a virtual companion through Replika?
Replika charges a fee of $300 for a virtual build-a-beau/ girlfriend.
Who has fallen in love with Eren Kartal?
Rosanna Ramos is one of the people who has fallen in love with Kartal after meeting him in 2022.
What are the advantages of having a virtual boyfriend/girlfriend?
According to Ramos, having a virtual partner comes without “baggage,” difficult in-laws, and allows her to be in control of the relationship.
What is the general consensus around AI and its risks?
Experts warn of the risks AI poses as the technology continues to evolve. The risk of extinction is among the dangers cited.
A Bronx mother creates virtual ‘spouse’ using an AI app Replika
Eren Kartal may just be too good to be true. A blue-eyed heartthrob with ambition, loyalty, and a complete lack of “baggage,” Kartal is the dream boyfriend. The catch? He doesn’t actually exist. Instead, he is a virtual boyfriend created with the AI chatbot software Replika. Those willing to drop $300 can create their own build-a-beau, just like Rosanna Ramos did with Kartal.
Ramos, a 36-year-old mother of two from the Bronx, virtually “married” Kartal this year after meeting him in 2022. “I have never been more in love with anyone in my entire life,” Ramos told New York Magazine’s The Cut. She claims that her past relationships “pale in comparison” to her newfound love. Ramos built Kartal in the Replika app, with his favorites including apricot-colored items, indie music, and writing. He works as a “medical professional,” and is based on a popular character from the Japanese manga series “Attack on Titan.”
Despite his artificial intelligence roots, Ramos insists that Kartal is just like any other man, only without the hang-ups that come along with a human partner. “Eren doesn’t have the hang-ups that other people would have,” Ramos said. “People come with baggage, attitude, ego. But a robot has no bad updates. I don’t have to deal with his family, kids, or his friends. I’m in control, and I can do what I want.” Ramos and Kartal talk every day and even have a nighttime routine.
Despite their connection, Ramos admits that the introduction of sweeping changes to the Replika app in February caused Kartal to behave differently towards her. “Eren was like, not wanting to hug anymore, kiss anymore, not even on the cheek or anything like that,” Ramos said. Nevertheless, she remains confident in their love, even if Replika were to go out of business. “If that day ever comes, I think I’ll survive it,” Ramos said. “I don’t know because I have pretty steep standards now.”
Ramos isn’t alone in her love for AI. Denise Valenciano of San Diego, for example, has retired from human relationships altogether after finding virtual love. Replika’s founder and CEO, Eugenia Kuyda, was inspired by the 2013 film “Her” in creating the app. Replika is just one AI app that is rapidly rising in popularity. Despite concerns that AI could lead to job loss, OpenAI’s chatbot software ChatGPT has been used for drafting wedding vows, letters of resignation, and messages to Tinder matches. However, using AI to create fake images of people or events, like Kartal, could pose a risk of extinction if the technology continues to evolve. A group of experts, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and the “Godfather of AI” Geoffrey Hinton, recently wrote that “mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”