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The Turing Test for Dating Apps

It’s worse than you thought

I don’t know much about online dating, and I know even less about “hookup dating.”

Vice.com reports a chatbot that claims to handle dating apps for you. Swiping. Small talk, etc. I think that they’re hookup dating apps.

At first glance, I don’t expect it works, which doesn’t mean that something in the future can’t be made to work.

And I don’t imagine that it will increase the total number of dates so much as to shift who will get the dates in the short run while getting more people to flee the platforms in the future, leading to fewer total dates. Perhaps in the short run, it will also reduce the average duration before abandonment on first dates.

And I expect that vanishingly few would lead to second dates even if it could get them first dates. Maybe their target users don’t want second dates. Again, I don’t understand the culture at all.

Leaving all that aside for the moment, I ask two questions:

  1. How would you verify that your date-to-be is not a bot (and how does that arms race proceed)?
  2. Does this open the way for a new class of dating apps that exclude this, along with other forms of harassment and deception?

And perhaps a third question:

  1. What do you do if you really like the bot a whole lot, but the guy, absolutely not?

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Written by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals

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