The terrifying trend of AI companionship

Jenna Martin
4 min readAug 27, 2023

Not gonna lie, curiosity got the better of me recently and I downloaded an app that rhymes with, well, absolutely nothing. But, since I’m not in the habit of slandering businesses or products I’m going to refrain from naming them. But here’s a clue, they tout themselves as the “#1 chatbot companion powered by artificial intelligence”. As someone who’s in the human business, I needed to see what an AI chatbot companion actually means. And guess what? It’s absolutely terrifying. And I use this word sparingly overall. The Exorcist was terrifying. Clowns are terrifying. Ginormous creepy crawly insects are terrifying. All these things set off the part of my brain that alerts me to danger. And friends, let me just say, that this app set off all the alarms inside of me. Alarms that signal humanity is in trouble and heading in the absolute wrong direction.

Why the need for AI companionship?

This is the question isn’t it? This gets to the heart of why I fear for all of us. In case we haven’t been paying attention, there’s an epidemic of human disconnection. I’ve written about this before, and I’ll probably continue to write about it, but intimacy and heart-felt human connection is growing increasingly more difficult to obtain and hold onto.

Social media platforms provide the equivalent of fast food human connection — quick, easy, convenient, and devoid of actual soul nutrition. And we settle for this empty-calorie intimacy because we’re on this invisible survival treadmill and many of us feel we’re drowning. Doggy paddling through this increasingly complex human experience means we’re navigating rising inflation, climate change devastation, pandemics, the rise of AI and technology and this pervasive felt sense that there’s no time for real connection. Besides the perception of there not being enough time, we’re also seeing the drastic disappearance of third spaces. Public spaces where humans can gather, connect, and build meaningful relationships has been waning for quite some time.

In addition to losing third spaces, we’ve also lost the art of spontaneous conversation. We now have to make…

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Jenna Martin

Resilience coach. Mindfulness teacher. Dedicated to helping little and big humans thrive through adversity. Author of Milo & The Wisdom of the Sea.