Microsoft engineers in China have created a female chat-bot named Xiaoice, that about 90 million users have chatted with. Many talk to her on a daily basis and are increasingly seeing her as a human being:
This begs the question of whether humans and robots can (and should) fall in love together. The article quotes experts as having suggested robots will make great companions for the elderly. There was a great film a few years ago called Robot and Frank where Frank Langella’s character receives a robot companion, who becomes his friend and assists him with robbery capers. Ultimately Frank and the Robot prove to be loyal friends who are willing to make self-sacrifices for each other. The movie has other interesting tidbits about the end of public libraries, the death of physical books. Not unlike a Ray Bradbury story.
Robot and Frank , a futuristic sci-fi buddy film.
The article linked also goes on to mention about a temple near Tokyo where monks had a funeral for 100 robotic dogs. Many in the procession were crying, and had become very attached to the dogs.
The downside of reliance on robots for socialization is lack of human interaction, thus possibly isolating the client from normal social activity and feedback.