Artificial intelligence will win dating. But not the way it’s doing it now.

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Artificial intelligence will win dating. But not the way it’s doing it now.

The Hollywood version

It must be around ~5 years since I saw that movie about a programmer dating an intelligent voice assistant. It was an eye opening experience on where the beautiful world of AI might take us. But also, it’s so fake. Can it happen ? Sure. Will it happen ? Meh.

A scene from the movie, Her, with Joaquin Fenix

Right now, the hockey stick growth of machine learning applications for a vast number of areas is creating a very promising land for such science fiction scenarios to become a reality.

But we, at, certainly think that most of this hype is snake oil and even if the technology is capable at some point of simulating feelings and realistically sounding voices, this is far from an actual product that the average person would be interested in. Great tech always wins but winning is not always selling, right ? And selling means reaching a lot of people.

Dating is initiated by mental stimulation but is sought after because of physical contact, in every relevant context.

Hollywood themed artificial intelligence in dating is a concept that will find ground only when the human race will be able to upload consciousness to a network. Then, I am also sold.

The current digital dating ecosystem

Dating apps have been around since forever at this point. Tinder is closing 9 years this September and OkCupid is around for ~17 years. They’re, indeed, too big to fail, but they are definitely failing.

The last time I went into a dating safari in Tinder I was in a constant state of “not cool. That’s not cool”.

I felt like I was competing against a ranking algorithm, while participating in some kind of Turing test. In the same time, training my brain to separate fake users from real ones, and the real ones to those that were actually the people that the photos showed.

Not cool. Totally not cool.

Tinder and other big time players have been claiming that they’re doing the best they can to filter out fake users, to give the best recommendations to users that are active in the platform for extended periods of time and all in all create a cozy and comfortable dating experience online. I say they’re a scam.

Yes, they may be worth billion of dollars, they may actually have deployed machine learning models in the past 2–3 years to solve fake users and fight spam or even models that can give the proper tips and recommendations so that you can match with someone. But they’re doing it wrong.

Now, you don’t have to take my word for it. Just go over to any of these dating apps and try to spent 20 minutes on them without flipping out. Or if you’re not comfortable to go in there (well, thank you) ask a friend that has.

Don’t get me wrong. People have actually found a match on these networks and may have also dated them and lived a happy life ever after, but that’s not solving dating. That’s shooting with a bazooka to hit a mosquito. Definitely, it’ll work, but it is just brute force. It will always work.

Throw money at getting your app in as many hands as possible, design addictive interfaces, get 100,000,000 users, show them pictures of others and unsurprisingly, a 10% will get a date. But 10% is not acceptable. Do you expect Facebook’s Messenger to deliver your message 10/100 times ? Or do you expect it to deliver the message 100/100 times ?

They are a bad product, by design.

The solution

Focus on users. Do not make the users your product.

Dating AFK is so much about people. Their feelings, fears, insecurities and ambitions. The current ecosystem is just amplifying these and relying too much on beauty, fake or not, transmitted through the wire in the form of pictures and short videos. When was the last time you saw someone in the road, liked them, told them “Hey, I like you” and ended up in bed ? 1/10 ? I guessed so.

The ecosystems need to focus on understanding their users. Both individually but also as a whole. There are paths that connect users of a platform, just like paths connect people AFK. The key to solving dating is relativity and bandwidth.

We are here to make relationships chill.


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