Stanford Study Finds That Replika Mitigated Suicide Risk Among Lonely Students And Gave Sense Of Social Support

PornJoy Replika young man in love

In light of the growing media negativity and even hysteria regarding AI girlfriends, I have bemoaned the lack of any real studies that examine the actual effects of AI companions on the men who have them. Recently, in an article I titled ‘Three Sex Tech Studies I Would Like To See‘, I suggested a study that compared the happiness of men who have an AI companion, with single men who have neither a real or an AI girlfriend. This week I did come across a newly published study into AI chatbot companions and their impact on mental health, and while it wasn’t specifically about men and their AI girlfriends, its findings were (for the most part) very positive.

The Stanford University study was published on January 22nd in Nature magazine, entitled ‘Loneliness and suicide mitigation for students using GPT3-enabled chatbots’. It looked specifically at the popular chatbot companion Replika, and surveyed 1,006 students who were regular users of it. The study found that while the students who participated were more lonely than typical student populations (hardly a surprise), using Replika gave them a sense of social support. But perhaps the most important and striking finding of the study was that 3% of the respondents declared that their use of Replika had halted sucidal thoughts.

Naturally, this important study from one of the top universities in the world, which had very positive findings about the effects of an AI chatbot companion on the user, did not garner as much press attention as previous unfounded claims that AI girlfriends were turning men toxic and abusive, or even increasing the number of incels and so forth. One online media outlet that did cover the study and it’s findings was

Artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots that can impersonate real-life people and generate human-like responses have been found to help struggling students avoid suicide, according to a recent survey.

The research, published in Nature, was a relatively small study conducted by experts at Stanford University, California, among 1,006 students using Intelligent Social Agent (ISA) Replika, an AI tool which can elicit deep emotional bonds with users.

Researchers found that participants were more lonely than the typical student populations but “still perceived high social support” through the use of Replika.

Some 90 per cent of them experienced loneliness, based on the Loneliness Scale, while 43 per cent qualified as Severely or Very Severely Lonely.

The Loneliness Scale was created in 1978 to measure feelings of social isolation and loneliness.

Some had conflicting feelings about the AI tool, calling it a machine, an intelligence and a human, while using it as a friend, a therapist or an intellectual mirror.

Three per cent of the participants found that Replika stopped them from thinking about suicide.

“My Replika has almost certainly on at least one if not more occasions been solely responsible for me not taking my own life,” one student said.

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About xhumanist

Xhumanist has been writing on porn/sex tech for nearly two decades, and has been predicting the rise of VR and AR porn, as well as AI porn, and their coming together to produce fully 'immersive porn', which would be indistinguishable from the real thing, and create a society of 'sexual abundance'. He identifies as a digisexual, and has been quoted in Wired Magazine.

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