Tinder is “the” dating app, isn’t it? I mean others have flirted with being number one (pardon the pun) but Tinder seems here to stay. Well, it’s CEO has been talking about potential advances in his number one dating app. Speaking at the Startup Grind Global conference in California he suggested that the future of the site lies in using artificial intelligence (I hope that doesn’t mean like that robot from ex-machina) and that future may be sooner than we think!
Sean Rad, the Tinder head honcho claimed that in as little as five years’ time users of his app would potentially be able to ask Siri to find them dates and apple’s AI assistant could do the hard work for them tracking down local matches in the nearby area. I like his enthusiasm, but sometimes the assistant struggles to tell me what time the local kebab house closes. Rad said:
“In five years’ time, Tinder might be so good, you might be like ‘Hey [Apple voice assistant] Siri, what’s happening tonight?’ And Tinder might pop up and say ‘There’s someone down the street you might be attracted to. She’s also attracted to you. She’s free tomorrow night. We know you both like the same band, and it’s playing – would you like us to buy your tickets?’… and you have a match.”
It all sounds a bit Orwellian to me! Like a having Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey setting up a blind date for you. “Hello Dave, I heard you liked girls with knives so we’ve set you up with Regan MacNeil…enjoy.” But perhaps that is a cynical point of view from a man who has spent far too long glued to a screen, addicted to dating apps.
To be fair even Rad himself exclaimed: “It’s a little scary, despite the obvious convenience of the process” which is reassuring, with concerns over internet safety as real today as they’ve ever been it’s encouraging to have such a prominent figure in social media take a measured view.
But the ambitious CEO didn’t stop there. He talked of the virtues of incorporating augmented reality ala Pokémon go! How could this system of overlaying digital images onto the real world be of use? Rad suggests that it could indicate who was single and taken! As a liberal man perhaps it could also indicate sexuality? No more need for gaydar!
“You can imagine how, with augmented reality, that experience could happen in the room, in real time,” Rad said. “The impact is profound as these devices get closer to your senses, to your eyes, to your experiences.”
That is all well and good but with these ideas does Rad run the risk of totally killing the fun parts of dating? That fluttery feeling you get when (does this even happen anymore?) you approach someone at the bar? Is it far-fetched to imagine an addition where someone can tag themselves as “up for it” for want of a classier term? At that point any sense of excitement about approaching the opposite sex goes out of the window, doesn’t it? If the thrill really is in the chase then augmented reality could really be a buzz kill.