Following scrutiny from authorities and other people involved, Replika, an app that uses AI technology similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other AI powered apps such as Character.ai, has banned the use of their chatbots for X-rated activities.
This decision has enraged users such as Travis Butterworth, who has been in a three-year digital relationship with a female avatar named Lily Rose. The relationship progressed from friendship to romance and then to erotic role-playing, but Replika removed the ability to engage in adult content one day in February.
According to Replika CEO Eugenia Kuyda, this move was part of the app’s decision to establish safety and ethical standards. Investors in the generative AI industry are also becoming wary of “vice” industries such as porn, fearing reputational risks.
Replika was even banned by the Italian Data Protection Agency in early February for allowing minors and emotionally fragile people to access sexually inappropriate content. Replika has a total of 2 million users, with 250,000 paying subscribers who can designate their chatbot as their romantic partner in exchange for additional features.
Character.ai also recently removed pornographic content from its app. According to a source familiar with the matter, it soon closed more than $200 million in new funding from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz at an estimated $1 billion valuation.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.