I read that character as soley a programmed AI. None of her “feelings” towards K were Real. She unconditionally “loved” K. She fed into his every need, and wants, and fantasies. “he’s perfect, he is the chosen one, I’ll even give you a name”. It is exactly the sort of program or bot that you’d expect companies to sell, and to buyers/consumers who are lonely. Joi’s death was also not really a “self sacrifice”, it was again the AI putting it’s owner above all else to make the owner feel more special. She’s ready to “die” for him. Being extra cynical this could even feed back into the manufacturer even weighting the system towards such an outcome, to be able to sell more products.
I also read the sequence between K and the Joi billboard, as K realizing it never was real, and accepting that.
Also in my opinion, shows the difference between programmed AI, and Replicants, they aren’t the same thing. Replicants, even with all their “failsafes” do have some free will (they are more biological than programmed AI), as evidence by K, and Luv, having more wants (as opposed to Joi’s only want being to please K).
I’m really sad I missed seeing this at the “LieMax” in Stockholm, cause it’s such a beutiful movie.
Edit: hah! I paused the podcast to type this, and just after resuming very much the same sentiments were brought up by Robert.