In a development that should surprise exactly no one, the online dating world is embracing newfangled chatbots, making it entirely possible that would-be Romeos are in fact courting virtual Juliets.
Popular dating apps such as Tinder and Hinge are already incorporating AI into their technology, allowing users to turn over online exchanges to chatbots.
The automated systems are also serving as trainers and matchmakers for people who consider themselves lovers, not fighters.
And there are apps available that serve as your digital Cyrano de Bergerac, offering snappy responses to online queries from potential partners.
This was probably inevitable in light of how quickly AI and chatbots have entered workplaces and education, allowing users to skip a lot of the work that once went into reports or school assignments.
Roughly half of all adults under 30 have tried a dating site or app, according to Pew Research. But many come away with a negative experience — shallow conversations, endless swiping, no love.
The digital dating industry hopes AI can reverse that trend by helping online daters cut to the chase with a prospective match.
That is, you can bypass the courtship and get right to the romancing — which the industry says totally isn’t cheating.
“It’s like saying using a word processor is like cheating on generating a novel,” Dmitri Mirakyan, co-founder of AI dating app YourMove.AI, told CNN.
“In so many ways, this is just a new tool that enables people to be faster and more creative. AI is just honestly no different from sending a friend a gif or a meme. You’re taking existing content, and you’re repurposing it to connect with somebody.”
He added: “The world’s becoming a more lonely place, and I think AI could make that easier and better for people.”
While automation can speed things up a bit, it’s hard to see how outsourcing courtship can lead to more meaningful relationships.
If anything, it sounds like a surefire recipe for encountering people in real life who are nothing like their online understudies.
Yes, finding Mr. or Ms. Right is challenging, and dating can be a real drag when it doesn’t pan out.
But thinking a robot can solve your romantic issues — well, that doesn’t seem to be something that machines are particularly good at.
At least not yet.