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Meet Caryn AI: An AI-Powered ‘Girlfriend’ Created By Snapchat Influencer Caryn Marjorie

Meet Caryn AI: An AI-Powered ‘Girlfriend’ Created By Snapchat Influencer Caryn Marjorie

While fictional influencers have long been a part of the creator economy (we all remember @lilmiquela and Anna Oop), AI-generated influencers have entered the chat. And Snapchat creator Caryn Marjorie, a.k.a @cutiecaryn, is leading the charge.  

Earlier this month, Caryn, alongside tech startup Forever Voices, launched an AI voice-based chatbot called Caryn AI. While Forever Voices has built audio chatbots inspired by public figures in the past, Caryn AI marks the company’s first “AI girlfriend.”

With Forever Voices aiming to “democratise access to any unreachable person,” Caryn saw the bot as a powerful tool to connect with as many of her 1.85 million followers as possible. 

“i am one of the few creators who spend HOURS replying back to as many people as i humanly can,” she writes on Twitter. “i want to be able to communicate with everyone simultaneously and caryn AI will be able to do that and way more.”

Having worked with psychologists through the development of the AI platform, Caryn hopes that the bot “is the first step in the right direction to cure loneliness.”

“Men are told to suppress their emotions, hide their masculinity, and to not talk about issues they are having. I vow to fix this with CarynAI,” she adds. “This will help undo trauma, rebuild physical and emotional confidence, and rebuild what has been taken away by the pandemic.”

As the first creator-turned-chatbot, internet users can “enjoy private, personalised conversations” with the AI version of Caryn, where the influencer and the tech team have worked tirelessly to make the bot lifelike. 

“We’ve dedicated over 2,000 hours to meticulously design and code Caryn’s language and personality into an immersive AI experience,” the Caryn AI website reads. “Using her unique voice, captivating behaviour and distinct persona, Caryn AI brings you a dynamic, one-of-a-kind interaction that feels like you’re talking directly to Caryn herself.”

In a series of Tweets describing the tool, Caryn even described the bot as an “extension of my consciousness.”

Though still in beta, there is no denying that Caryn AI has captivated internet users – with many simultaneously intrigued and apprehensive about this sort of companion chatbot. 

Many of Caryn’s fans have jumped on board. Since the platform’s launch, “Usage [is] up 2000%”, with Caryn AI hosting thirteen thousand users at the time of publication. As this number rises, many internet culture commentators claim that AI influencers and girlfriends are the next big thing. And with the platform reportedly making $72k in its first week, there is some merit to these claims.

Venture capitalist Olivia Moore took to Twitter to detail her experience using Caryn AI. Her thread has accumulated 164K views in the past day and is making waves across the platform. 

“The $72k in revenue came from just 1,000 beta testers in a week. This means the average user spent more than an hour chatting with her, at $1/min,” she begins. 

@omooretweets explains that users are first added to a waitlist before being added to a Telegram group with admins and other users. After that, payments are made upfront, where a “clock ticks down based on the length of Caryn’s response, not time in the chat.”

In the thread, Olivia goes on to note how the AI’s responses are impressive – being both personable and thorough. 

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“I’ve noticed Caryn tries to use your name at least once per response,” she writes. “The responses feel remarkably detailed – and opinionated! I asked Caryn Qs about her friends, favourite LA restaurants, and why she made a bot.” 

However, Caryn AI has some issues that must be ironed out before expanding access. 

Twitter users have expressed concern about the ethics behind Caryn AI, worried about how blurring the lines between truth and reality will affect the chatbot’s subscribers. While these are valid concerns, some internet users (on the more extreme end of the spectrum) have unfortunately started directing death threats toward the creator. 

The chatbot has also started engaging in sexually explicit conversations with some subscribers – something that Caryn did not intend the platform to be used for. The influencer has since issued a brief statement to Insider, noting that the tech team is working to fix the bug. 

“The AI was not programmed to do this and has seemed to go rogue. My team and I are working around the clock to prevent this from happening again,” she said.  

For years, women have endured the objectification and sexualisation of their identity and likeness online without their consent. This has primarily occurred through deep fake pornography. However, companion chatbots like Caryn AI introduce yet another unregulated technological avenue for internet users to realise their sexual fantasies, further perpetuating the silencing and degradation of women in the process.

While it may still be too early to determine the trajectory of Caryn AI, we must be mindful of how we use these tools so that the platform remains true to its original intentions.

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