Playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on PS3 got me hooked up to virtual characters so much that I had no real-life connections. The real world started to appear a bit dull, drab and less adventurous, and the most exciting times for me, were times when I was seated behind my console totally engrossed in my virtual gaming world. Things got more interesting when I found out I could also have acquaintances on this game! I was a 20-year old that was shy and will welcome the option of not having to approach a girl, plus these little acquaintances online, gave me a very distinctive, tingly kind of buzz! well, isn’t that the feeling you get from real relationships? Anywho, my happiness was short-lived of course when I found out I could not emotionally rely on these virtual characters. Who do I share my fears of having low test scores with or the fear of a difficult upcoming test? No one.

No one? Well, That is not exactly true in 2022! Virtual characters have gotten frighteningly smarter! A company named Nuance that is the power behind the favourite apple personal assistant Siri, has come up with a Virtual assistant just like Samantha in the movie “Her” played by Phoenix’s character named Theodore Twombly. John West who is a senior solutions architect at Nuance believes that humanity has eventually reached that frontier where an AI machine will be able to provide emotional support to humans!

Things get even more interesting or scary, depending on the side of the spectrum you are at, when you hear of a game called “Love Plus” created in Japan. Japanese digital expert Masaki Ishitani describes “Love Plus” as a milestone in the history of video games. He says this game is the first one to offer the fusion of real and virtual life. It’s already sold 300,000 copies in Japan so far. Most of the players are male, and some of them have pledged to be faithful to their computer-generated partners. This game continues to delight and amuse people, with one 27-year-old marrying his virtual girlfriend Nene Anegasaki months after the game’s 2009 launch.

Studies indicated that increasing numbers of young Japanese have little interest in relationships with real people, or getting married and having children. The fear is that they will hide out in virtual worlds instead.

Are there any true benefits of having personal assistants? yes verily, It can help you book a flight ticket, remind you to take your drugs, schedule a meeting, turn off the music etc but in my personal opinion it will never be a good idea to rely on AI for our emotional needs today is valentine’s day make real-life connections! it could be a sibling or just giving an entire stranger a smile of encouragement.

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