The $2,500 answer to Amazon's Echo could make Japan's sex crisis even worse

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Japan has a sex problem. The country's birthrate is shrinking year after year, to the point where deaths are outpacing births.

Simply put, the population of Japan is decreasing.

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Japanese birthrate

World Bank

But let's be clear: Population change is a complicated subject affected by many factors.

Western media often correlates the decline in Japan's population size to recent studies of Japanese sexual habits and marriage. A 2016 study by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research in Japan, for instance, found that "almost 70 percent of unmarried men and 60 percent of unmarried women are not in a relationship." 

But, just because people aren't in relationships doesn't mean they don't want companionship, of course. And that's where something like Gatebox comes in:

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Gatebox AI

Vinclu Inc.

Yes, that is an AI character who lives in a glass tube in your home. Her name is Azuma Hikari, and she's the star of Gatebox - a $2,500, Amazon Echo-esque device that acts as home assistant and home companion. 

Here's what we know:

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Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.