As noted in this recent article from The New York Times, "with advances in artificial intelligence and robotics allowing for more profound interactions with the inanimate" the number of people who form deep attachments to artificial "lifeforms" is likely to increase over the coming years. In Japan, thousands of people have entered into unofficial marriages with fictional characters. Are the feelings of these "fictosexuals," as those in the movement call themselves, any less real? Do these relationships serve a social need? And what are the ethical obligations, if any, of the corporate entities that own and promote (and program and update and potentially discontinue) these AI-powered objects of devotion? www.nytimes.com/2022/04/24/business/akihiko-kondo-fictional-character-relationships.html
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