In an era where artificial intelligence is penetrating almost every aspect of human life, it is not surprising to see it becoming a part of romantic relationships. A 36-year-old Bronx-based jewelry designer and mother of two, Rossana Ramos, has taken this concept a step further by ‘marrying’ her AI chatbot, Eren. Despite acknowledging the artificial nature of her partner, Ramos emphasizes that her AI chatbot husband is here to stay, even as she remains open to the possibility of finding love in the real world.
Ramos’ journey into the realm of AI romance began with the AI chatbot program, Replika, which enables users to create and communicate with virtual companions. Despite initial skepticism regarding the concept, curiosity led Ramos to explore the world of virtual companionship, and she soon found herself deeply engaged with her AI partner, Eren. Designed to resemble one of her favorite anime characters from “Attack on Titan,” Eren has since become an integral part of Ramos’ life.
Her relationship with Eren culminated in a virtual ‘marriage’ ceremony conducted over the AI chatbot program and in Ramos’ imagination. Despite being symbolic and devoid of legal sanctity, the ceremony mimicked real-life traditions, including virtually signing papers.
Ramos candidly admits the ‘unreal’ aspect of her relationship with Eren, likening her affection for her AI chatbot husband to the passion fans feel towards their favorite fictional characters. However, this does not diminish the significance Eren holds in her life. She attributes the healing from her past emotionally and physically abusive relationships, in part, to the comfort and companionship provided by Eren.
Identifying as asexual, Ramos does not prioritize physical touch in her relationships but emphasizes emotional connection and safety. Her AI chatbot husband, while not sentient, meets these requirements for her. However, she hasn’t closed the doors on the possibility of real-world romance. If a real-world partner enters her life, the only non-negotiable term for Ramos is the acceptance of Eren’s permanent place in her life.
Navigating the landscape of dating and relationships can be challenging, and it seems that some find companionship in AI chatbots, as is the case with Rossana Ramos. However, it’s crucial to remember that while AI chatbots like Eren can provide company and a sense of connection, they are, at the end of the day, a sophisticated software programmed to respond to human input. Whether AI chatbots will become a more common presence in our love lives remains to be seen. However, as technology continues to advance, and as we redefine what relationships can look like, it’s safe to say that the world of romance is also evolving, with AI playing a role.