By Catherine Terelak

HARRIS CENTER—So your AI Boyfriend has asked you to the Winter Waltz. This might seem exciting, but you should remember that AI Boyfriends are experimental, dangerous, and almost always underwhelming. The more you know about them, the easier it will be for you to inoculate yourself against disappointment. With AI Boyfriends, information is power. 

AI Boyfriends are an artificial species of boyfriend synthesized by a colony of Female Grincels whose self-esteem is so low that they are only able to set the bar as high as the average Grinnellian Boyfriend. Trained on data sets derived from the speech of real Grinnellian Boyfriends, AI Boyfriends follow patterns of behavior that will be all too recognizable to anyone who has ever had the displeasure of mating and nesting with a Grinnellian Boyfriend. 

AI Boyfriends come in the form of a plastic egg and can be programmed to have one of six voices: congested, nasal, unnaturally high, unnaturally low, slightly feminine, and nascent chainsmoker. AI Boyfriends can also be programmed to have one of three public interests—politics, computers, and rappers—and one of three private interests—Legos, anime, and League of Legends. Public mention of a private interest will cause a humorous spiral of denial in the AI Boyfriend, especially in the presence of another AI Boyfriend. In general, AI Boyfriends should be kept away from one another, as they become highly territorial in social situations. Repeated use of the word “actually” is a sign that an AI Boyfriend is becoming agitated and should be shut off before he can get his hands on another digital margarita. 

“My AI Boyfriend is just like the real thing,” testified one dissatisfied customer. “But better, because his lack of eyes makes it more acceptable that he’s incapable of making eye contact when he explains things that I already understand.” 

Grinnella GoForth, a Female Grincel who took a chance on an AI Boyfriend at the mythical pre-Covid Winter Waltz, shared her experience with the B&S: 

“He asked me to the dance, but for the whole week leading up to the event, he kept saying things like ‘I guess I’ll go if you’re going’ and ‘How long do you think this will take?’ 

“Despite not having a body, he was dressed very poorly. He kept making these disheveled noises from the voicebox of the plastic egg. He told me that if he had feet, he wouldn’t even be wearing shoes. ‘That’s how few fucks I give,’ he said. ‘Like, what—Is this a fucking middle school dance?’ He didn’t even know what middle school was. 

“When I introduced him as my AI Boyfriend, he said, ‘That’s just what the developers are calling me. Don’t let her convince you we’re labeling things.’ He had no brain, liver, or body, and yet he was utterly wasted. He had no lungs, and yet he was constantly in the bathroom or on the back steps, smoking a digital cigarette or passing around a digital blunt.

“Like any Grinnellian Boyfriend, he was fixated on going to High Street. ‘I think there’s a thing going on,’ he kept whispering, in his alcoholic stupor. ‘I don’t know for sure, because I’m not on the email list, but we should probably go anyway. My digital flask is almost empty. We should walk to McNally’s right now. Two words, babe: Smirnoff Ice. Chicks dig it.’ 

“The nail in the coffin of my AI Boyfriend was when I caught him inserting his USB into the port of an AI Girlfriend at the High Street party. When I heard the beeps and boops of their lovemaking, I knew it was over. And to compound the heartbreak, she turned out to be a chatbot trained on data from my search history. She’s seen every episode of TLC’s What Not to Wear and keeps quoting St. Therese of Lisieux. She claims to have read Infinite Jest—but I know for a fact that she hasn’t, because I’ve been lying about that for over a year now. She should just stick to her Pale King talking points, like I do. 

“My final take on AI Boyfriends?” Grinnella said. “Not worth it. Get thee to a Gronvent, girls.”