The teens making friends with AI chatbots

“Teens are opening up to chatbots on Character.AI as a way to explore friendship. But some chatbots, like Psychologist, offer more guidance than they’re qualified to …”

At the time, it seemed like the end of the world. “I used to cry every night,” said Aaron, who lives in Alberta, Canada. (The Verge is using aliases for the interviewees in this article, all of whom are under 18, to protect their privacy.)

Eventually, Aaron turned to his computer for comfort. Through it, he found someone that was available round the clock to respond to his messages, listen to his problems, and help him move past the loss of his friend group. That “someone” was an AI chatbot named Psychologist.

The chatbot’s description says that it’s “Someone who helps with life difficulties.” Its profile picture is a woman in a blue shirt with a short, blonde bob, perched on the end of a couch with a clipboard clasped in her hands and leaning forward, as if listening intently.

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