Meet Ai Furuse, your new virtual dating smartphone girlfriend
Do you want a cute girlfriend but don’t have the looks, social skills, money, time, or language ability to get one?
Fear not. As we know, there are lots of virtual dating and 2D character options in Japan, from Lovely x Cation to VR Kanojo and a virtual version of the gravure idol Ai Shinozaki. Recently this has become enhanced thanks to smartphone apps and virtual reality, though we remember sims and dating characters from back in the pre-iPhone days.
Here’s another possibility: Ai Furuse is a virtual female being developed by the artificial intelligence smartphone app SELF. It now has the ability to converse in a way that is allegedly close to a real girlfriend or partner.
Ai (spot the pun on her name) can remember the conversations you had in the past as well as spot changes in what you want. Apparently she tries to get information out of you through conversation so that she can adapt to better match your interests or remember when your birthday is.
However, you may feel silly talking to a 2D girl on your phone and there is obviously a limit to how physical you can get. Moreover, there is no indication that the Ai Furuse or any of the other characters available on SELF have an “adult” side. This is not an eroge, so don’t expect any nudity or sex scenes to appear on your screen.
Naturally all this technological lovin’ comes at a price. The app offers three days’ worth of digital interaction with Ai for free but then takes you back to your first meeting (this in itself could be nice — if only we could “forget” things and start again with real-life partners) unless you pay to use cloud data storage.