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AI is about to take parasocial influencer relationships to the next level

Remember the movie Her? We just took one step closer to that reality. Caryn Marjorie, a 23-year-old influencer, has used AI to create a virtual version of herself that acts as a romantic companion of sorts for thousands of her fans online who are willing to pay for this unique experience called CarynAI.

The technology is a voice-based chatbot that allows you to type and speak with Marjorie as if conversing with a girlfriend. Users are paying $1 per minute to engage with Marjorie’s voice and likeness for several minutes to several hours.

CarynAI is an artificial intelligence based on a human influencer aimed to help her fans combat loneliness.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The influencer collaborated with the AI company Forever Voices to create CarynAI. It uses the OpenAI GPT-4 API for the chatbot, while the team trained the voice aspect of the AI on over 2,000 hours of video sourced from Marjorie’s now-deleted YouTube channel to bring the entire project together.

CarynAI has been available as a paid beta test for approximately one week, but has already generated $71,610 in revenue, Marjorie’s business manager told Fortune.

The influencer has 1.8 million followers on Snapchat, but projects that up to 20,000 of her members on the platform might become paying members of CarynAI, and that the service could make up to $5 million per month once out of beta testing.

The creation of CarynAI is multifaceted. Starting first with Forever Voices, CEO John Meyer developed his first AI bot in 2017 as a version of his father who passed away from suicide. While different uses for AI have been created as the technology has increased in popularity, one has notably been for bereavement.

🎤Introducing Forever Voices.
Experience the magic of a live, 2-way audio debate with an AI copy of a former President. Get advise on your startup from AI Steve Jobs. Get taught by Albert Einstein. Or collaborate on your music with AI Taylor Swift. pic.twitter.com/hcEkF8thR0

— Forever Voices AI (@ForeverVoicesAI) March 30, 2023

Around the world, some have blended the GPT API and other AI generators, such as Midjourney, in addition to photos, and voice recordings, to create AI renditions of deceased loved ones.

However, Forever Voices is primarily a Telegram-based app that has become popular for allowing you to converse with notable people, including Steve Jobs, Taylor Swift, and Donald Trump. These are people who not only have their voices and likeness easily accessible due to the internet, but many people likely already feel a close, parasocial relationship with these public figures.

Influencer relationships, such as what has been created with CarynAI, seems like an easy evolution. Meyer noted that such technology could be beneficial for young people who are “not typical” and “struggle with friends.”

However, as with several AI chatbots, such as CharacterAI, there have been instances where CarynAI has produced explicit content. Meyer stated that Forever Voices is looking to combat this by hiring a chief ethics officer.

Marjorie insists CarynAI is intended to be “flirty and fun,” much like her own personality, and does not want any contrary content from the chatbot to tarnish her reputation.

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Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
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