A virtual AI friend is the ideal friend that most people dream of having.
Abass Alzanjne AI Researcher
Here we go again, in light of the undergoing rapid change in the field of AI, as well as a broad range of technology-related areas, as computational power has increased and costs have decreased, AI continues to fascinate mankind with its promising new technologies that will enable humans to overcome their defects.
A defect refers to a disease or malfunction that a person, machine, animal or plant is born with or acquired over time, in another way or form. As perfection belongs to God, there is no such thing as a human without faults. Consequently, sciences step in to fix the defects that men, machines, animals or plants experience in some way or another. In order to repair defects or malfunctions in living beings, medical science has taken the lead.
As health problems become more prevalent in humans, dangerous diseases, such as psychological disorders, have become more prevalent as well. Despite its malignant nature, science continues to find ways to treat it. While living in a world surrounded by advanced technologies which can perform more complicated tasks than humans, electronic devices have been proven to influence humans in many different ways, and the relationship between a person and the device has increased rather than actual relationships with others. In order to exploit the benefits of technological devices, we need sufficient understanding and awareness to be able to use them positively to guide the person, develop their mental and illness awareness correctly.
In the latest review of mobile chatbots for anxiety and depression and features for self-care, researchers noted; anxiety and depression are at an all-time high, with over 264 million people of all ages suffering from depression alone globally. Anxiety levels in the population are also concerning, with anxiety affecting 3.76% of the global population. Anxiety and depression can have a broader impact on society, resulting in poor job performance and high rates of sick leave. Healthcare professionals are not immune to such disorders, which is especially concerning given their importance in the delivery of essential services. In times of pandemic, health professionals have been known to experience severe stress (a sub-syndrome of anxiety). (Ahmed et al., 2022)
Extraordinarily, during the COVID era, people were forced to isolate themselves or volunteered to do so, leaving little opportunity to interact with other people. This brought man very close to his electronic devices.
In turn, scientists and entrepreneurs understood this connection between man and technology could be the answer to prevent future mental illnesses. In order to fulfill the need for a superhero, AI once again stepped in.
From the AI series of new tools, AI gave us The Virtual AI friend application. An app that lets you create a bot-chat partner with artificial intelligence. This Virtual AI friend offers emotional counseling, psychological services, and other services. A start-up company in the U.S. has launched an artificial intelligence-based chatbot, with the goal of showing support and attention to people who are desperately missing people to talk to during the time of home stone.
The Virtual AI friend is an ideal friend for anyone who is looking for one. They provide emotional connectivity, which replicates the emotion and behaviors of humans, making it easy for people to trust them and form relationships with them. Nowadays, trust can only be placed in the phone or computer, which becomes the only friend one can rely on.
No matter how hard we try, our closeness with a machine will always stay below that of a human. That is why how deep this technology can go need to be understood carefully.
The goal of AI virtual friends is to provide people with an emotional connection to technology. By using this application one can meet a perfect boyfriend or a girlfriend, a coach or a mentor. Users can choose; either the face and the appearance of a fantasy or dream person, or it can be the faces of stars and celebrities. In addition, the choice of a sweet, passionate, energetic, soft or light voice, and a style of speech such as respectful or gentle.
Applicability and specifications
This application employs the techniques of understanding the intent of dialog, recognizing the speech style after understanding the content of the dialog, and artificial intelligence dialog creation.
As a result, it is a natural conversation, as if it were taking place between real people. As this robotic pellet or pellet evolves and advances, it will be able to deal with a variety of topics such as job searching, sports, movies, cooking, and some specialized fields.
One of the many other application advantages is that if the user wants to feel vital feelings, such as chatting with a real human being, the movements of the lover’s or beloved’s face can be determined also.
Users also can have a casual conversation or compete in a speech contest. The AI Virtual friends are distinguished by a high level of dialogue and knowledge, as when contacted once, a dialogue can be carried out in around 115 cases on average.
- AI Virtual friends are machines that are designed to speak, move and react to the people they meet.
- AI virtual friend is someone who can be there for you when you need them the most, but at the time when needed; freeing up your time for others.
- The Virtual AI friend is your perfect companion that offers you a number of services according to your needs.
- Moreover, the Virtual AI friend is made to behave as you want and it will never make you feel lonely again.
The virtual AI friend operates on the following three principles: “mental health,” “self-help,” and “therapy.”
The mental health principle means that it helps people to deal with anger, stress, anxiety and many other psychological issues. AI Virtual friends are the kind of software where you can talk to them. They will converse with you, answer your queries, and understand your emotional needs.
The self-help principle means that it can be used by people while they are going through difficult times in their lives to help them get through these times. Having a Virtual AI friend, people are able to talk about what they are facing during difficult times in their lives.
Finally, the therapy principle means that this virtual AI friend can be used as an alternative to traditional therapy sessions when people do not want to talk with a human therapist or find it inconvenient.
The virtual AI friend Aims
It’s a well-known fact that best friends are the ones who can offer emotional support in difficult moments. But we also know how hard it is to find someone who can be there for us always, understand our feelings and listens when no one else does.
The virtual AI friend is a project that aims to develop artificial intelligence specifically for the social sphere. The aim of the project is to create artificial intelligence that can closely reflect a close human friend – one who would be able to feel what you feel, talk about topics you want to talk about, and forgive you when you make mistakes.
AI virtual friends are designed for both adults and children. They have certain parameters in order to meet the different needs of these two markets.
According to the AI Virtual friend developers, as the number of pets increases, the efficiency of this application will improve to the point where it can hold a conversation about pet breeding.
Given the increased use of this program, it is possible that people will no longer need a true friend or girlfriend to exchange affection or friendship, but that artificial intelligence will eventually replace humans.
It was believed that this type of application will end after the COVID era, yet, statistic shows a significant increase, and the number of users reached millions. The AI Virtual Friend product, according to May 7, 2020, Guardian report, is one of a growing number of bots that use AI to meet the need for companionship. With anxiety and loneliness, millions are seeking solace from such AI Virtual Friend, which has 7 million users, and claims that traffic has increased by 35%. (Balch, 2020)
Nonetheless, unofficial reports suggest the number of users exceeded 10 million at the time of writing this paper. Post-quarantine, users seem to prefer dealing with these robots to genuine relationships. Can it be interpreted as proof that true love and friendship do not exist anymore?
Ahmed, A., Ali, N., Aziz, S., Abd-alrazaq, A., Hassan, A., Khalifa, M., Elhusein, B., Ahmed, M., Ahmed, M. and Househ, M., 2022. A review of mobile chatbot apps for anxiety and depression and their self-care features. [online] Science Direct. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666990021000112 [Accessed 15 September 2022].
Balch, O., 2020. AI and me: friendship chatbots are on the rise, but is there a gendered design flaw?. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/careers/2020/may/07/ai-and-me-friendship-chatbots-are-on-the-rise-but-is-there-a-gendered-design-flaw [Accessed 18 September 2022].