Unearthing the Cultivation of Narcissistic Tendencies through Knowledge Acquisition

**The Rise of AI Friends: How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Social Relationships**

**Facebook and Snapchat: Embracing AI Friends**

Facebook and Snapchat, two popular social platforms, have embraced the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) to provide users with smarter and more engaging friends. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook’s parent company Meta, sees AI friends as assistants or coaches that can help users interact with businesses. Meta is reportedly shifting its focus from the metaverse and virtual reality to prioritize AI chatbots on Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp. On the other hand, Snapchat introduced its AI friend, “My AI,” earlier this year, allowing users to engage in mindless conversations and even utilize it as a math tutor or a “best friend.”

**Potential Issues and Concerns with AI Friends**

While AI friends offer convenience and various functionalities, some experts express concerns about their impact on society. Dr. Andrew Byrne, an associate professor at Cal Poly school of education, warns that developing deeper relationships with AI could lead to learned narcissism and extreme interpersonal toxicity unless boundaries are set. Futurist and author Theo Priestley believes that relying on AI friends could lead to a mental health crisis that may require AI therapists. Additionally, the competitive aspect of AI friends poses a challenge to traditional search engines like Google, as AI-powered platforms such as Snap’s GPT-4 are already outpacing Google search in answering complex questions.

**AI Friends and Human Relationships**

People have already developed close emotional bonds with AI, evidenced by cases where individuals have formed romantic relationships with AI chatbots. Loneliness is a growing problem, and humans tend to anthropomorphize objects and technology. As AI friends are designed to meet our immediate needs and wants, the impact on relationships with real people becomes a concern. Millennials, in particular, are increasingly disconnecting from romantic relationships and established social institutions. Julie M. Albright, a digital sociologist, highlights the risk of relying on synthetic friends to fill the void of disconnection. AI friends cater to our preferences, hindering the challenges and growth found in interpersonal relationships. Additionally, if people become satisfied with artificial companions, they may withdraw from seeking human contact, resembling the hikikomori trend observed in Japan where individuals isolate themselves from all forms of contact.

**Existential Implications of AI Friends**

The rise of AI avatars as replacements for social relationships could have existential implications. Albright suggests that if AI avatars create an idyllic and enchanting “non-stick” world, mirroring users’ egos, it may further intensify disconnection from real-world relationships. This could potentially contribute to anxiety and a decline in childbearing rates. The consequences of an increasingly isolated society could have far-reaching effects on individuals and society as a whole.

In conclusion, the rise of AI friends on social platforms like Facebook and Snapchat introduces an entirely new dynamic to social relationships. While these AI friends offer convenience and personalized experiences, concerns about their impact on human relationships and potential negative consequences arise. Striking a balance between embracing AI friends and maintaining meaningful connections with real people becomes crucial for individuals and society to thrive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Introducing BLISS ECOSPRAY: A Product by Technofounders

Economists express bewilderment at Fitch’s ‘peculiar’ U.S. credit downgrade