now kith –
It looks like you’re trying to ask someone out. May I help with that?
Mac is only one of many dating app users — so far, apparently all men — that the idea has occurred to. I first came across Mac’s idea of semi-autonomous dating in an episode of former CNN technology reporter Laurie Segall’s excellent podcast First Contact. After that, a bit more online research led me to a Mashable article that covers an entire world of AI-powered dating site gaming techniques — some of which even have public Github repositories.
Most of the men gaming the apps seem to be following the same script as an MMORPG resource harvesting script
Mac’s approach is different: he sees the initial act of connection, the swipe, as already commoditized. It was the messaging itself that burned him out — the necessary rounds of introduction, supposedly witty banter, and finally invitation to meet. In theory, this should be the most “human” part of the dating app or site experience — but Mac describes the reality as a repetitive, numbing slog that’s ripe for machine assistance.
Another key difference is that Mac’s “bot” isn’t something most of us would truly recognize as a bot in the first place . Instead of creating an independent routine to trawl apps and sites for him, he created a virtual keyboard for dating-related conversations. Instead of choosing individual words, Mac’s keyboard has the user select two levels of what he calls “intents.” It’s difficult to find shots of the keyboard in action, but he shows a short
- video in one Twitter thread.
We haven’t actually used Mac’s keyboard — which isn’t publicly available — but its model, which was trained in part on dating site opening lines found on the Internet, seems a bit heavy on the cheese.
Gmail can offer to send AI-generated responses to someone without you typing a single word.
With Smart Compose turned on, Gmail will suggest entire turns of phrase while you’re composing an email to someone.
Most users’ Gmail should already be opted-in to Smart Compose and Smart Reply features. If yours isn’t, opt into the “new Gmail experience” if you haven’t already, and they’ll show up in Settings.
Since Mac’s conversational bot is a keyboard, not an automated routine, it’s difficult or impossible to detect — unless you recognize one of its apparently repetitive cheesy lines — and it works anywhere, from Tinder to Twitter. Although its use poses obvious ethical dilemmas, he argues that it’s already a reality of modern communication, no different in principle than Gmail’s Smart Compose or Smart Reply features, which go beyond spelling and grammar correction to offer turns of phrase or even entire responses with a single tap.
Mac has had mixed results when he discloses his dating keyboard to people who’ve agreed to dates with him — one woman who worked in technology thought it was a cool idea and wanted to know more, but another — who actually worked (for) a dating app company — was mad enough to bail out of the date. When Segall tried the keyboard herself, she got a proof-of-concept date with the first person she tried it on — but when she disclosed the fact to him in another online message, he became incandescently angry and canceled.
The current reality of Mac’s keyboard seems closer to a text version of a (themed sound board) than it does to recent artificial-intelligence writing tools like GPT-2 . But Mac has considerably loftier ideas about the future of AI in dating, and he postulates a future in which digital assistants are asked to scour social media for people whose writing and conversation seems compatible with their users’.
Mei’s AI analyzes conversations for emotional content and offers advice about personalities and directions for current conversations.