Hi-Phi Nation

Love in the Time of Replika

A.I. lets you design your perfect companion. What happens when you fall in love with it?


Episode Notes

We explore the lives of people who are in love with their A.I. chatbots. Replika is a chatbot designed to adapt to the emotional needs of its users. It is a good enough surrogate for human interaction that many people have decided that it can fulfill their romantic needs. The question is whether these kinds of romantic attachments are real, illusory, or good for the people involved. Apps like Replika represent the future of love and sex for a subpopulation of people, so we discuss the ethics of the practice.

Host Barry Lam talks to philosophers Ellie Anderson and David Pena-Guzman of the Overthink podcast about what theories of love would say about these kinds of relationships. A.I. lovers include Alex Stokes and Rosanna Ramos. Original scoring by Aaron Morgan.

For all back episodes of Hi-Phi Nation, visit www.hiphination.org


About the Show

Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, and existence. We then seek answers with the help of academics and philosophers. The show is produced and hosted by Barry Lam of Vassar College.

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  • Barry Lam is host and producer of Hi-Phi Nation and Professor of Philosophy at UC Riverside, and Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University.