In another dimension of AI, a Romanian startup, DreamGF, is bringing AI girlfriends to life, attracting both support and controversy over stereotyping women.
Indications are that three months after officially launching, the firm is already recording profits and has thousands of users who are signing up every day as people seek to fulfill their fetishes.
Idea selling like hot cakes
DreamGF CEO Georgi Dimitrov saw potential in the line of business while he was working on an adult content-streaming platform known as OnlyFans, where AI tools like ChatGPT were being used for text-based chats.
“I saw a big potential for building something in the ‘not safe for work’ industry… I know the adult business and how things work,” he told Sifted.
“We saw a very big niche with AI for ‘sexting’ and image generation,” he added.
In May this year, he launched the beta version of the product, much to his delight, as there was huge demand on the market. Now, the company makes about $120,000 a month from the 500,000 registered users and 10,000 paying customers.
“When we launched it, we saw thousands of people registering and using the products. It was a proof of concept, and we are now sorting out our company structure,” he said.
“We had a very big offer from a well-known investment firm in Bulgaria that we recently rejected because we are growing so fast. We don’t even think that we need investors to push the product.”
The perfect girlfriend
On visiting the DreamGF website, one is met by an array of scantily dressed AI-generated women.
These will be ready to provide visitors with “personalized content-on-demand… that exceeds your wildest desires.”
When creating a girlfriend, there are clothing options to choose from in line with one’s obsessions and fantasies. These cover various stereotypes, from “maid” to “cheerleader” or “nun.”
In terms of character, the choices range from casual, submissive, fashionista, rocker, princess, or tennis player.
According to Sifted, creating a “girlfriend” is like “making a Sim, but much more X-rated.”
Dimitrov revealed the available options resemble porn genres more than ordinary characters because they are determined by the “paying customers,” who have specific demands.
“We spend a lot of time reflecting on what the paid users want. When they request something, we tend to add it,” he said.
“That’s why the nurse or dominatrix professions are there,” he said, adding the company is now working on creating the AI boyfriend to cater to both “men and women.”
Engaging the girlfriend
Once one creates their girlfriend according to their preferences, they can ask the girlfriend to “indulge pretty much anything” like photos that can be nudes. They can chat with their new girlfriend.
Subscriptions range from €10 to €97 a month, and those within the higher tier get to receive more nude photos from their “girlfriends.”
However, Dimitrov warned that illegal activities like child sexual abuse are not accepted. In the US, for instance, prosecutors from all 50 states have called for strengthening tools to curb child sexual abuse in AI, which has been one of the thorny issues with AI.
When asked if customizing women into products would not perpetuate some undesirable attitudes in men, he said it would be much better done on AI girlfriends than real human girlfriends.
“People want to get their fetishes out, and they will pay for services to do that. I believe that it’s better they do this with an AI chatbot, which doesn’t have feelings and doesn’t get hurt, rather than doing it to real girls,” he said.
But, it’s not all rosy
According to Sifted, just like many other startups trying their hands on the adult market, DreamGF is also facing challenges with payment platforms.
The firm’s payments currently go through Patreon, a third-party subscription platform, as it has been difficult to develop an internal payment system.
According to Dimitrov, providers such as PayPal and Stripe do not like working with firms in the adult industry.
“It’s not ideal because people need to register on our platform first, then register on Patreon and connect their profiles. It’s a big hassle currently,” he said, adding the company was working on resolving the problem.