When a relationship comes to an end, it’s not uncommon to find yourself revisiting it, trying to piece together what went wrong and why things didn’t work out. It’s also understandable that many people would involve friends in the process — it can be good to get another perspective on things, especially someone with some distance from the proceedings.
Still, there’s a big divide between getting advice from a friend or family member about what went wrong in your last relationship and consulting AI on the matter. But in yet another technological development that feels indistinguishable from a Black Mirror episode summary, there’s now a service that offers the latter option. It’s called Texts From My Ex, and you’re raising an eyebrow skeptically, don’t worry — you’re not alone.
The service ended up in the spotlight when writer Aidan O’Brien pointed to some of the more unnerving elements of it via a Bluesky post. O’Brien described the process as “terrifying on frankly too many levels for me to comprehend, not least of which are the issues about consent, & data privacy,” which all seems pretty accurate.
The service allows people to have their chat histories analyzed by AI, and if the sample analysis is any indication, it sounds like said analysis will have no small amount of snark. One example: “The breakdown of trust here is more catastrophic than an earthquake at Legoland.”
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That’s without getting into the most unnerving aspect of O’Brien’s initial post — which suggests that Texts From My Ex can also use machine learning to talk to you in the voice of your ex. That description matches an article published on the website Cloudbooker earlier this year — but it’s worth mentioning that it’s not currently on Texts From My Ex’s website.
Even if that’s no longer on the table, it’s not hard to see some privacy and ethical concerns at play here. Texts From My Ex’s website does state that “we can’t see or save your chats.” Still, given the recent discussion over deleting nude photos from one’s ex, it seems like submitting a conversational history with one’s ex to an online textual analysis opens up an entirely different can of worms. Or you can think of it this way: would you want your potentially intimate texts run through a machine learning system?