Gil Mildar
As the song says, a Latin American with no money in his pocket.

Byte-Sized Love: Reflections on Digital Affection

I was browsing CNN one lazy afternoon when I stumbled upon something that seemed straight out of a science fiction story. Caryn Marjorie, a 23-year-old influencer, had created a virtual copy of herself using artificial intelligence to sell as a virtual girlfriend online. There it was, byte by byte, and for a moment, I thought my eyes were deceiving me.

I’m not here to judge. As we understand it today, I know that love has not always been the same. The concept of romantic love emerged in the late 18th and early 19th centuries with the Romantic movement. Before that, marriage was a social and economic institution devoid of deep romantic feelings. Each generation redefines love in its way.

CarynAI, Caryn’s digital copy, has already won over a thousand boyfriends, each paying $1 per minute of conversation. Fortune revealed that this chatbot has already grossed about $72,000. On Twitter, Caryn stated that this copy was created so she could talk to all her followers: “CarynAI will never replace me; it’s simply an extension of me, an extension of my consciousness,” she explained.

Here, I need to pause. Caryn describes CarynAI as an extension of her consciousness. But what does “consciousness” really mean? For me, it’s more than predictable behaviors and responses; it’s the ability to reflect, doubt, evolve, and genuinely connect with oneself and others.

Caryn’s virtual profile was sculpted through an “immersive AI experience,” with over 2,000 hours dedicated to crafting her voice, behavior, and personality. “If you need someone to be comforting or loving or just want to vent about something that happened at school or work, CarynAI will always be there for you,” she said.

As if that wasn’t enough, the system resembles Siri (Apple), but more sensually, encouraging detailed scenarios and using erotic speech. Caryn claimed on social media that she was the first influencer to do something like this and declared herself “very good at her job.”

What unsettles me is not the type of relationship CarynAI offers but my disconnection from this reality. I am living proof that relationships created through apps can work – it’s how I met the woman to whom I promised my love would be eternal while it lasted. I’ve always considered myself modern and up-to-date, but I feel like a relic from a disintegrating past in this new form of digital love. I’m not judging those who seek connection in any way they can find it. I reflect on how far we are willing to go to avoid loneliness. And perhaps this frantic race to connect with the virtual is the most incredible testimony to our disconnection from what is real.

Are we substituting real human connections with digital facsimiles because we fear vulnerability and rejection, or is this simply the next evolution in how we connect? If love and relationships can be commodified and replicated by artificial intelligence, what does that say about the nature of our deepest emotions and the future of human intimacy? In a world where virtual relationships have become the norm, how do we maintain the essence of human connection grounded in imperfection and genuine emotional exchange? I invite you to share your thoughts and answers with me. Please email me at

About the Author
As a Brazilian, Jewish, and humanist writer, I embody a rich cultural blend that influences my worldview and actions. Six years ago, I made the significant decision to move to Israel, a journey that not only connects me to my ancestral roots but also positions me as an active participant in an ongoing dialogue between the past, present, and future. My Latin American heritage and life in Israel have instilled a deep commitment to diversity, inclusion, and justice. Through my writing, I delve into themes of authoritarianism, memory, and resistance, aiming not just to reflect on history but to actively contribute to the shaping of a more just and equitable future. My work is an invitation for reflection and action, aspiring to advance human dignity above all.
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