A catfish is a person who takes information and images, typically from other people, and uses them to create a new identity for himself. In some cases, a catfisher steals another individual’s complete identity—including their image, date of birth, and geographical location—and pretends that they are his own. Sometimes, the purpose is just for silly fun but stealing a person’s identity is a crime in any country, so the catfish is a criminal, and catfishing is a crime. No way around it, those are plain facts.
The increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in dating apps has raised concerns about the potential for criminals and catfishes to create sophisticated fake profiles. While AI has been beneficial in matching users and enhancing user experiences, experts warn about the devastating consequences it could have in the wrong hands. Jay Dodds, Co-founder of BONKERS, a dating app focused on user safety, expressed concerns about the use of AI to deceive unsuspecting singles.
The threat of AI in online dating
Jay Dodds warns that criminals and catfishes could leverage AI technology to dupe individuals on dating apps. The use of AI to alter profiles, both visually and in terms of bio information, has been discussed on TV shows. However, Jay emphasizes the importance of authenticity and meeting real people when dating. He cautions against using AI to change profiles and highlights the potential dangers of false age verification, where AI-generated images and bios could misrepresent someone’s age, compromising user safety.
Several companies have recently utilized AI in the online dating space. Iris Dating, for example, employs AI to match users based on their likelihood of finding each other attractive. Your Move takes it a step further by generating responses for users to send to their matches. However, these automated responses often lack personalization and come across as impersonal or cringe-worthy. Jay believes that the rapid advancement of AI in dating apps has outpaced our understanding of how to control its capabilities, and he questions its place in fostering genuine connections.
The need for user safety and confidence
Rather than encouraging users to change themselves to be loved, Jay suggests that dating apps should focus on creating tools to enhance user safety and confidence. While AI can serve as a digital wingmate, providing prompts or icebreakers, it should not replace the authenticity and genuine connections that users seek. Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge have been approached for comments on the issue. A digital wingmate could be the fulfillment of your life’s dream, so go on and find him/her with real data.
Tinder acknowledges the use of AI in supporting moderation and promoting positive behavior on the app. Features such as “Are You Sure?” and “Does This Bother You?” utilize AI to enhance user experiences. The app emphasizes that while young adults are excited about the opportunities AI brings, they value realness and do not want AI to compromise genuine interactions.
The use of AI in dating apps has raised concerns about the potential for criminals and catfishes to exploit the technology by creating fake profiles. The manipulation of profiles using AI to alter visuals and personal information can deceive unsuspecting singles and compromise user safety. While AI has a role to play in matching and facilitating conversations, experts argue that its capabilities should be controlled to prioritize user safety and authenticity. The focus should be on creating tools that enhance user confidence rather than encouraging users to change themselves to be loved. So, how to find a digital wingmate using AI? Tell us in your remarks below.