Love in the Time of Algorithms

‘Invisible Boyfriend’ Helps You Expertly Fake Being In a Relationship

Haven't found The One? You can now pretend you have. (Getty)

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, countless singletons are no doubt gearing up to respond to that dreaded question from parents, grandparents and other nosy relatives: “So, are you seeing anyone?”

Instead of trying to justify your single status to your crotchety aunt, there’s also another option—downloading an Invisible Boyfriend or Girlfriend, which launched today from private to public beta.

Yep, we’re for real. The apps, founded by St. Louis’s Matthew Homann and Kyle Tabor, let users pay for “believable social proof” that they’re in a relationship. They generate everything from photos and meet-cutes to text messages and actual voicemails—all of them totally fake, but also totally realistic. Read More

Love in the Time of Algorithms

Hammer Smash! What Happens When You Bring Your Virtual Girlfriend to Your Wedding

(Photo: The Escapist)

Love comes in all shapes, sizes and pixels. With emotionally intelligent robots on the way and virtual reality characters capable of catering to your every whim and desire, it’s not difficult to see how the more introverted among us might find themselves in love with a 2D heroin. In Japan, there’s an entire culture surrounding the dudes-in-love-with-inanimate-objects meme: remember that New York Times pillow story?

Still, when you finally resign yourself to marrying a meatbag, you should probably surrender your virtual girlfriend before any jealousy can fester. After all, what human could ever hope to live up to the perfection of an anime character? Read More