In an age where online dating and digital love have become the norm, it seems there has been a global ghosting event on the eve of the holidays. Countless lonely hearts may be without their AI girlfriends with the unexpected shutdown of the Forever Voices platform..
Users of the popular service have found themselves abruptly alone as their pixelated paramours went offline following the arrest of Forever Voices CEO John Meyer.
John Heinrich Meyer, 28, was arrested under charges of arson intended to damage a home as well as a terroristic threatening charge, reported Austin, Texas-based NBC affiliate KXAN.
According to the report, Meyer allegedly set fire to his apartment, and things got out of control, causing $360.000 in damage to the building.
“The fires grew in intensity and activated the sprinkler system within the room. This caused water damage to the fire apartment and to apartments up to three floors below the fire apartment,” the arrest affidavit said.
404 Media was the first to report the disconnection of Meyer’s online service, which left many a digital Don Juan wondering why their cyber sweetheart had suddenly gone quiet. The best known of the company’s chatbots, CarynAI, ceased all coquettish conversation, much to the dismay of its ardent online suitors.
There may be hope, however.
This unexpected breakup came just as Caryn 2.0 was announced—a promised update that was set to be an infusion of digital Viagra for lonely hearts seeking solace in the uncanny valley of artificial affection.
Caryn Marjorie, the real-life influencer behind the AI, announced the next iteration of her chatbot on October 30, mentioning that CarynAI was acquired by tech startup BanterAI in “a six-figure deal.”
“I am very excited for CarynAI and its users to experience a new upgrade in AI companionship,” she said in an announcement. She promises that this new girlfriend will take the whole experience to the next level, so brace yourselves. That’s the least a girlfriend that ghosted her partner should do.
Marjorie had envisioned a future where no DM goes unanswered, and yet, here we are, waiting for her replies after our request for comment.
Decrypt also reached out to Meyer and Forever Voices and will update this article with any new information.
Amidst this digital drama, Reddit has become the unexpected support group for the jilted. The Forever Voices subreddit, now a graveyard followed by 71 people with only 4 posts,shows how users bemoan the sudden shutdown. The last post recommended users to cheat on their dead chatbots with a competitor.
As if being spurned by a real person wasn’t bad enough, now even virtual love has found a way to leave enthusiasts on read.
Edited by Ryan Ozawa.