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Virtual children may seem like a giant leap from where we are now. However, AI expert predicts people will buy lifelike digital ‘babies’ instead of having real kids in 50 years.

According to an artificial intelligence (AI) researcher, one-fifth of the population will choose to produce lifelike digital babies instead of actual ones in the next 50 years.

According to Catriona Campbell, former UK government adviser and author of AI by Design: A Plan For Living With Artificial Intelligence, couples who cannot have or afford children, or who are worried about “overpopulation,” will be able to purchase and socialize with their own virtual AI “children” for about $25 a month by the early 2070s, reports South West News Service (SWNS).

The “Tamagotchi” era, called after the popular 1990s-era electronic keychain device “pet” one could theoretically care for, is what Campbell refers to such predicted replica “children,” which one Twitter user describes as an “abomination.” The AI offspring Campbell predicts, on the other hand, would be simulated with technology that is light years ahead of Tamagotchi pets in terms of their capacity to mimic real life.

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Couples would experience the sensation of holding and caressing “children” with the use of virtual reality haptic gloves, which would not only imitate the facial expressions, emotions, and speech of a child in three-dimensional form, including their laughter and cooing. With the use of AI technology, even the digital children’s physical traits and programmed “personalities” will be fashioned by those of their “parents.”

Campbell anticipates that parents will be able to pick whether their AI child grows in real time or is active only on demand, as well as whether their digital child is born as a newborn, an adolescent, or somewhere in between.

Of course, if parents become dissatisfied with their “child,” they can terminate it as if it never was.

The virtual children would blend in well with the Metaverse, a virtual reality platform connected to internet and run by Meta (previously Facebook), which is expected to become “so commonplace” that it will “become an extension of reality itself.”

Scholar and author John Horvat II has blasted the Metaverse for its manufactured reality, calling it “a metaphysical attack on the Church’s worldview” that “obliterates the nature of a God-created universe.”

According to SWNS, Campbell has positioned the future AI “babies” as a long-term “birth control” solution to overpopulation.

According to a 2020 YouGov survey on why couples choose not to have kids, 10% of couples avoid having a family owing to parenting expenditures, while nearly 10% avoid having a family due to overpopulation fears, according to the news site.

According to SWNS, Campbell stated, “Based on studies into why couples choose to remain childless, I think it would be reasonable to expect as many as 20 percent of people choosing to have an AR baby over a real one.”

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“Virtual children may seem like a giant leap from where we are now, but within 50 years technology will have advanced to such an extent that babies which exist in the metaverse are indistinct from those in the real world,” Campbell said. “As the metaverse evolves, I can see virtual children becoming an accepted and fully embraced part of society in much of the developed world.”

“As ever, this is just more anti-natal propaganda, predominantly targeting white western countries, which are already seeing birth rates rapidly decline,” Paul Joseph Watson said.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and the founder of SpaceX, has frequently cautioned that, in contrast to popular belief, the world’s issue is “completely the opposite,” saying in December, “Please look at the numbers — if people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble, mark my words.”

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