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Grindr, the leading dating app for the LGBTQ community, has announced a strategic partnership with generative AI company Ex-human to add an AI assistant to its platform.
Ex-human, founded in 2021, has carved a niche in the AI world with its customizable chatbots. Unlike traditional AI models that focus on answering fact-based queries, Ex-human's chatbots—popular on its consumer site Botify.ai—are designed to engage in emotionally resonant and meaningful conversations.
Ex-human offers a range of virtual companions, from imaginary Geishas to an AI version of Elon Musk, all of which appear as 3D models that show expressions and reactions to prompts. This focus on emotional engagement is what sets Ex-human apart—and aligns with Grindr's initiative to enhance the social interaction aspect of dating.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Grindr's CEO, George Arison, underscored the competitive urgency of this AI venture.
"If we don’t do it, someone else will,” he said. “If you’re not first to market with something in AI, you’re going to miss out."
Implementing AI in Grindr’s ecosystem is expected to broaden the user experience, offering features such as dating advice, conversation starters, and personalized recommendations based on individual profiles.
Arison also introduced the concept of the "Grindr wingman," a digital assistant aimed at enriching the dating process. This innovative feature could suggest meetup venues and music and even assist in crafting responses to messages tailored to the personality of the user’s match.
While these advancements are promising, they bring privacy concerns to the forefront. In response, Arison assured that integrating Ex-human's technology into Grindr would be handled with the utmost care for user data privacy. He stated that the AI's integration ensures that personal data remains within Grindr's secure infrastructure, addressing potential apprehensions about data misuse.
The move towards AI-assisted dating isn't isolated to Grindr. The broader dating app industry is witnessing a similar trend. As reported by Decrypt, Tinder is testing AI tools for message suggestions and profile creation. However, with technological innovation comes the risk of misuse. A notable concern is the advent of AI-powered scams, like the "LoveGPT" tool that leverages the power of AI to create elaborated schemes with a broader reach.
The ethical implications of AI in dating are also significant. As reported by Decrypt, a survey by AttractionTruth revealed that 20% of heterosexual males are already employing AI to boost their online dating experiences, with nearly 40% reporting an improvement in their interactions.
In this evolving digital dating landscape, OkCupid's approach provides further insight. "Daters who think ChatGPT is a lifesaver get almost 40 percent more matches on OkCupid than those who think it’s too big brother," Michael Kaye, OkCupid’s head of communications, told Mashable.
Grindr's foray into AI-assisted dating shows how AI is becoming more of a cultural phenomenon that permeates a good part of human interactions just like social media marked a pivotal moment in the intersection of technology and personal relationships two decades ago.
As these features roll out, they will transform how individuals interact on dating platforms and potentially redefine the landscape of digital intimacy. In this new era, our digital wingmen will either become indispensable advisors in navigating the complex world of modern dating, or they will handle the whole boring flirting process, leaving us humans to manage whatever comes next.
Edited by Ryan Ozawa.