The New York Times has a story on their webpage about a virtual girlfriend by the name of Vivienne, developed by Artificial Life Inc of Hong Kong. Users of the service pay a monthly fee of $6 to interact with their artificial girlfriend who can discuss 35,000 different topics thanks to a vast database of questions, answers and conversation pieces.
MaryAnna Donaldson, Artificial Life Incâ€™s creative content editor sees Vivienne not as a replacement and says, â€œI hope they think of her as a companion and will see her as a practice round before the real one.â€
Vivienne also has the ability to translate phrases sent to her through the phoneâ€™s text message ability and say the translated phrase back to you in a number of languages, including Chinese, German, Japanese, Korean, Italian and Spanish. The developers envision this as a boon to travelers who use the service needing a quick translation of common local questions.