First they come for your cities. Then they come for your homes. And now, the robots are coming for your right-swipes. The AI panic seemed to have reached its zenith a couple months ago, when more than 1,000 technology experts signed an open letter warning that AI poses “profound risks to society and humanity.” But now, as TV writers strike for protections against it, gutsy robots declare their undying love to journalists and dating apps are potentially flooded with computer-generated bios, it doesn’t seem the technology is slowing down any time soon.
The sweep of AI on dating apps has been especially swift. This week, screenshots of “weird” Hinge profiles went viral on Twitter, showing what looked like three different men, all named Andy, who had responded to the prompt “A random fact I love is…” with the identical and completely inscrutable phrase: “I like everything about culture.”
“My friend has been noticing something weird on Hinge: men who write ‘I like everything about culture’ in their bios,” Vox reporter Rebecca Jennings, whose friend had taken the screenshots, captioned the images. “What is this? Are they bots? Is it AI? Why are they all named Andy????? Please someone tell us what is going on.”
Commenters speculated about the origins of the profiles, offering insight from their own similar experiences. “Definitely bots,” one user wrote. “I saw several profiles that had a very specifically worded prompt answer, ‘watch movies, go shopping, hang out with friends.’ Feel like I’ve been seeing more and more of that rote, stilted language on there. Weird translation issues?”
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Another user suggested Hinge had hired third party companies to “flood the app with bots” in an attempt to boost their active user numbers.
“If they are indeed bots, what is the process of making them?” Jennings asked in the thread. “Who is behind it and what are they possibly getting out of this?! My friend sometimes tries talking to them but they stop responding like immediately so if it’s for scamming, seems like they’re bad at it???”
The Hinge scare comes just weeks after a dude, who once claimed to be the “most swiped right man” on Tinder, began offering ChatGPT services in his native UK. Stefan-Pierre Tomlin, a 32-year-old model, uses the technology to “coach” hopeful singles on how to get matches. The Independent reported that Tomlin’s subscription-based service, Celebrity Love Coach, “uses ChatGPT and AI to write attractive dating profiles and messages” and “subtly tweak” profile photos.
“We change people’s pictures and bespoke their bios,” he told The Independent. “Most people say it’s catfishing — it’s not.” Um, okay? Also, this service is best suited for those who like everything about culture.
No matter what kind of a twisted, sci-fi future we and the bots are destined for, we should all draw the line at incoherent robot flirting. No one deserves that, least of all the folks on dating apps who are just out there looking to connect with some fellow humans — pulses, sentience and an epidermis all major pluses.