New App Further Cheapens Dating Experience

DateA new bot can automate the selection process on Tinder, according to a lifehacker article by Chris Jager. The bot, called Tinderbox, relies on a facial recognition algorithm.
Justin Long, the bot’s creator, explains that it uses the Tinder APIs and the user’s swiping history to build an algorithmic model of the user’s preferences in terms of her potential dates’ appearances. It needs the user to swipe at least 60 accept-or-reject swipes in the Tinder app first, but after that it can start swiping for the user, automatically. What’s more, it can also initiate conversations with potential dates using a rudimentary message tree, and then notify the user when it’s time to engage in a proper human conversation.
This application of facial recognition technology, like many others, will likely be met with a sense of unease from some people. As the technology continues to enter our daily lives, it’s starting to provoke some interesting questions about when and where it is appropriate. There was some buzz, for example, when a comedy club in Spain started using facial recognition technology to charge audiences by the laugh; and there is very serious debate about the technology’s application in policing. Tinderbox shouldn’t provoke such strong reactions as those, but it will almost certainly see some concerned parents shaking their heads.