If you can have a conversation with a simulated person presented by an AI program, can
you tell how far you've let your sense of personhood degrade in order to make the illusion work
People degrade themselves in order to make machines seem smart all the time. Before the
crash, bankers believed in supposedly intelligent algorithms that could calculate credit risks
before making bad loans. We ask teachers to teach to standardized tests so a student will look
good to an algorithm. We have repeatedly demonstrated our species bottomless ability to lower
our standards to make information technology look good. Every instance of intelligence in a
machine is ambiguous.
You are not a gadget, Jaron Lanier
The sole justification for research in any field is the usefulness of the actions that follow from it, by which I mean the following: Humans can freely control their actions and can bring forth, through cool calculation, experiences which they instinctively desire, but which they cannot bring about by a direct impulse of the will, called a goal.
Currently, means to satiate the instinctive goal of having a romantic partner are services like Tinder or host clubs. However, these services do not encompass the need for people with major disabilities, mental illnesses or social inhibitions who will realistically never find a romantic interest but still crave one as part of their human desires. For this purpose, I suggest doing research which would enable virtual partners in the foreseeable future.
Additionally, virtual partners are not bound in their function to people with said issues and can be an effective instrument for any human desiring a partner.
Furthermore, if the number of users reaches a critical amount to be considered part of culture this could enable a shift of thought regarding the importance of relations and could henceforth remove societal expectations concerning finding a partner. ❣