The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday

Meet Hikari Azuma, the hologram wife soon heading our way


Peering at Japanese sexual culture has long been a pastime for observers of the dystopian. From the “maid” bars where waitresses dress as sexy servants to the “herbivore” men who prefer to avoid sex and relationsh­ips with women entirely, there is much to gawp at. The country’s birth rate has hit a new record low.

Now Japanese men, long customers of fake women, from dolls to robots, have found yet another reason to forgo real-life ladies: the hologram wife. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before the world’s first holographi­c partner, invented four years ago in Tokyo, would merge in blissful if cold-blooded union with ChatGPT version 4, the most advanced AI language system the world has ever seen. Hikari Azuma, as “she” is known, is an anime-style chatbot that simpers and cavorts like a fairy, hardly distinguis­hable from a little girl, with a high-pitched voice to match and a floppy bow. Thousands of men have now “married” her.

It’s easy to laugh, though most women probably feel a bit queasy, even reading about this new type of wife 6,000 miles away. But such developmen­ts should give us real pause for thought. It may not be long until holographi­c spouses catch on in the West. After all, flesh and blood family relationsh­ips require effort, soul, values, and at least some acceptance of reality. We’re already seeing more and more virulent online communitie­s for men who, in abandoning proper values, have also given up on relationsh­ips with real women. One result has been enormous success for the likes of macho huckster and self-professed king of the internet, Andrew Tate.

So it’s not just an “over there” story any more. The way things are going, British ladies might well find themselves in a far more sinister type of competitio­n – with women who don’t exist – than ever before.

 ?? ?? Dream girl? Chatbot Hikari Azuma has been ‘married’ by thousands of men
Dream girl? Chatbot Hikari Azuma has been ‘married’ by thousands of men

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