forget catfishing, we've entered the chatbot-fishing era.
I'm pessimistic, but I don't know that this will fundamentally change online dating specifically. I fear that smooth talking chatbots will be used to manipulate people, but manipulating them into wanting to go on a date will just be one use case out of many (such as scams using them to convince people to hand over money).
I feel like online dating is already rewiring our brains to make us have more conventional, narrow romantic preferences that fit certain stereotypes, while providing us with an illusion of infinite partner choice and creating unreasonable expectations about finding the perfect person. In the short and medium term, AI will probably just make some or all of these things worse at the margins.
I have a hard time seeing this as anything other than a form of catfishing. It’s fine if someone wants to consult with others or even hire a coach to help communicate better, but outright outsourcing or plagiarizing is starting the relationship with deception and a betrayal of trust. It may be effective at getting a first date, but much like pictorial catfishing, that first date will crash immediately when the person’s personality and communication abilities don’t match the witty robot.
AI seems to me like it’s just going to be making all of our societal ills so much worse. There are too many people who are willing to do things that are only for profit/greed. I mean, companies pollute our air and waterways because, well, it’s cheaper to do that than try to mitigate harm. Companies put shit in our food (additives, HFCS, etc) because it’s helps their bottom line. AI is going to be like that. Who cares who’s harmed as long as someone’s making bank, right?
The hard thing about this is that, to some extent, dating is supposed to be hard.
Okay, maybe not as hard and hellacious as some people experience. After all, dating for many people involves a lot of work marketing and manicuring a specific image, often rooted in stereotypical gender norms. As you mention, we don't need Chat GPT to reinforce heteronormativity and gender binaries. We can do that just fine by ourselves, thank you very much.
Dating is supposed to be hard because relationships are hard. This is why I have a job as a couples and sex therapist.
Not everyone in the world has the same interests and goals for life and priorities as I do--in fact, very people do. And that's before we get to things like physical attraction and sexual alignment. When thinking about creating long-term relationships--having one is a value of mine--I'm much less willing to settle. So dating is about sifting out who does and does not align with my values and interests. That's exhausting!
The whole purpose of technology is to create efficiency, increase productivity, and hopefully make our lives a lot easier and happier. However, communication and relationship building are skills and areas where technology, from text to a reliance on virtual spaces, and now Chatbot-fishing, commonly interferes with healthy sexuality, conflict management, and emotional processing.
I mean if he sounded (or even better, sounded and looked) like Paul Bettany hell yeah I would…