Bumble Founder Suggests The Future Of Dating Could Be Users’ AI Surrogates Going On Virtual Dates To Find Best Matches


When one of the pioneers of modern online dating is gassing up the idea of AI hookups, well, I just don’t know if love stands a chance anymore.

Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd changed the dating game by creating an app where women always make the first move. In an interview that discusses where online dating technology is headed amid the ongoing AI explosion, she explained how AI could help users narrow down their best matches in a somewhat creepy/dystopian way.

“If you want to get really out there…there is a world where your dating concierge could go and date for you with other dating concierge. No, no truly. And then you don’t have to talk to 600 people.

It will scan all of San Francisco for you, and say these are the three people you really ought to meet.”

I feel like all of us singles between 23 and a couple decades north of that age give or take are fighting an uphill battle. Many millions of people don’t even want to go out and spontaneously meet somebody anymore. Even the concept of going up to a stranger to buy them for a drink has turned into this weird dynamic. When in doubt and nervous at a bar, bury your head in your phone and act like no one is there. maybe get some swipes in on the dating apps! That’s kind of the way of the world these days. What a shame.

My parents’ generation had to, like, call from a landline or a pay phone, coordinate plans, not follow up on them for days, and actually show up for the date and time previously agreed upon. Everyone nowadays can be so damn flaky. Even though Vince Vaughn’s speech in Wedding Crashers has nothing to do with online dating, it perfectly sums up the landscape of it all and how the vast majority of men and women behave because of the unprecedented, overwhelming quantity of options at their fingertips. The dreaded “how interested do I act?” dilemma.

But hey, we could soon reach a point where we circumvent all that awkwardness, and have fake AI dating personalities go on dates with other fake AI dating personalities in rapid succession so that we can better figure out who’s looking for a real relationship, and who’s a phony just playing the field.  Nothing wrong with the latter, by the way, if that’s where you’re at in your life as a yo-pro single. I just feel like AI would take a lot of the suspense, surprise and spontaneity out of dating to say the least.

Is using AI in this way cutting-edge? Pragmatic? Probably, eventually inevitable? I’m afraid the answer is “yes” to all three of those labels. But it’s also not many steps removed from the Black Mirror episode “Striking Vipers”, only it’ll be machines-only risqué friskiness. Weird to think about. Just plain weird.

If we let AI into our love lives, who’s to say the machines won’t continue to exponentially evolve, realize like in so many classic sci-fi stories that humans are destroying Earth, and sabotage us at our most vulnerable to turn dating apps into glorified open forums for hit men (or android-ish biologics) to carry out some not-so-sexy wetwork? Bumble and its ilk are about to spark a Blade Runner-esque future where we can’t distinguish AI/replicant individual sting operations from innocent dating.

Tough dating scene out there. About to get much tougher if Bumble gets too in bed with AI.

Skynet gif

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock