I think these will be here soon, I would say in 3 years it will be possible to really have this, and another 3 years later it will be mainstream. Smartphones will be able to project holograms not too long from now, and before that there are always VR goggles. These girlfriends will be customizable in every way and lifelike, a little scripted at first but the AI will develop fast. They will become nearly perfect Turing machines.
And they will be immensely popular. This is a new potential market of massive size. Japan is already ahead of the curve on this.
The temptation will be to either embrace or reject this new phenomenon. But I say the truth will be in the middle, because there will exist in most people a pull in both directions, for the perfectly customizable and pain-free VR hologram relationship and also for the real thing. So both desires will pull off of each other and a nice daemonism will exist, where each person can choose where he wants to fall along the spectrum from virtual to real. And of course the pull of the virtual will create pressure on real relationships to get better, to be of a higher level and quality. Only absolute moralists or the very stubborn pure of heart will totally resist the technology, the rest will find a middle-point somewhere between the two extremes.
I tend to see AI in this way as creating a spectrum out of what had formerly been a single point. Humans need another “sentient” life to converse and deal with even if only Turing at first. This will raise the stakes and create a Nietzschean climb upward into larger being, especially for the majority of humanity who would not be able to do that otherwise.
Of course some people will reject the real for the absolute virtual, and that’s fine too. Such people we would not want inhabiting our real spaces anyway, and there is always a chance that their edified fantasy-images will ultimately push them back into the power of reality.
“Be clever, Ariadne! ...
You have little ears; you have my ears:
Put a clever word in them! —
Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...”. -N
“A man is not great if he is not small, and he is not small if he is not great. Concepts flirt with the loss of their significance in the oscillation between ambiguous states, and this is in part the function and purpose of concepts.” -Primer on Meaning