Teens make friends with AI

Together with

The Future. Some kids are opting to spend more time with their chatbot friends than their real ones. It’s a trend that’s helping some kids overcome loneliness and anxiety but also endangering them of only developing relationships with AI. If the trend continues, we may soon see a mental health crisis not about loneliness but about a lack of human connection.

Chatbot clique
3.5 million users, many of them teens, flock to Character.AI to converse with, confide in, or even date AI-powered chatbots

  • The chatbots are based on characters from popular shows, movies, and video games, and even celebrities.
  • Users spend an average of two hours on Character.AI, telling The Verge that the chatbots have helped them boost their confidence, work through social anxiety, and try out jokes.
  • But many share that talking to the chatbots has become an addiction, choosing instead to have group chats among various chatbots rather than go out with peers.

Experts are worried, of course, casting doubt that these teens will be able to transition from AI friends to real ones, especially if those human interactions go wrong. 

As if being a kid wasn’t hard enough…

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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