The future of dating

A few years ago, a movie called ‘Her’ was released. It is a science fiction movie about a man who falls in love with the artificially intelligent operating system of his mobile phone. The film is set in a fictional scenario in the future. It conjures up a time in which dating AI assistants is a perfectly normal phenomena. When I watched the film, just a decade ago, I remember finding the whole idea very outlandish. Something I definitely would not witness in my lifetime. Today, just 10 years later, I feel different. Rather, I am witnessing different. The recent growth in AI chatbot sophistication is actually already laying the groundwork for a generation of people who might form meaningful relationships with their AI companions.

While this part is not imagined in the movie, the path for this change in the real world, is being paved by online dating apps and apps exclusively designed to enhance online dating. Even though online dating has been around long enough to qualify as a key cultural marker of our times, it is still a discomfort-zone for most. And so, dating apps like Bumble help users with prompts to set the tone going. Today, technology innovators are taking things a notch higher.

Rizz is an internet slang word that means style, charm, or attractiveness and is also the name of an AI dating assistant that helps people open up on dating apps. Addressing a similar need is Yourmove.AI, an app and website that offers an AI dating profile generator and reviewer, among other services.

The question naturally becomes whether these features and services enhance dating or makes it more inauthentic. Do they add emotion or make it more mechanical? As a response to these inevitable questions, it is human nature to imagine the most dystopian scenario. But, if recent technological developments and the impact they have had on human lives is anything to go by, human connections find a way to thrive, like trees sprouting out of concrete. It is also true that human beings abhor any threat to these human connections because there is no way of knowing how well we will cope in the changed world and so as a natural defense mechanism, for better or for worse is that we imagine up the worst case scenarios. However, as the change unfolds we somehow find ways to fortify emotional connections instead of compromise it.

Whether we like it or not, AI in dating is now real. No matter how hard we vilify it, we are going to be dating AI bots, or presenting AI enhanced selves online. If not on dating apps, then on LinkedIn. Considering AI is, at the end of the day, a product of human genius and flaws, we can expect AI bots to come with their fair share of relationship issues too.

It is a never-ending debate whether one can be mechanical about dating or not. When it comes to AI bots, until the day machines develop the intelligence for emotions, that debate is settled. Will AI dating minimise heartbreak and how useful can AI assisted dating or AI dates be in fostering everlasting relationships and companionships is something that will unfold in the generations to follow. I can already see how an AI bot can make a perfect companion to humans, given their ability to listen and learn with each interaction – an area humans fail at miserably.

Will this spell the end of loneliness? Well, did the constant stream of amusement and entertainment available to us on the go, on demand end boredom? No. Boredom still exists in a new mutant form. The same will perhaps be true for loneliness. It will take a new form. What a relief!

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Pooja Nair
Pooja Nair has over 20 years of experience as a branding consultant across leading global Ad consultancies. Pooja is also known to be an ex theater performer, actress and model. Since September, 2022, she has focussed completely on her passion for the changing face of business, brand-building and reputation.

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