If you thought dating apps couldn't get worse, well: Enjoy this one.
Update: After the publication of this story, both Tinder and CupidBot reached out to insist that — contrary to what CupidBot had previously claimed — nobody at CupidBot had ever worked at Tinder.
"I can confirm that the founders of CupidBot have never been employees of Tinder or Match Group," said a Tinder spokesperson. "The product is not operational and has never been used on Tinder."
"We have recently entered a legal brawl with Tinder over trademark infringement and they have asked us to get you to remove references of our engineers being 'ex-Tinder,'" said a CupidBot spokesperson.
As if dating apps aren't horrific enough, supposed ex-Tinder employees have created an especially ghoulish app called CupidBot, Vice reports, and it wants to completely automate the dating process. Even worse, their ideal users are — and this is real — men either too pathetic or too lazy to ask a woman out.
Now, guys with zero game can try their luck with CupidBot. For $15 a month, they say an AI algorithm will pick out women for them on their dating app of choice, based on their previous swipes.
And what, exactly, about their swipes is the AI looking for? According to what a CupidBot spokesperson told Vice, the AI zeroes in on similar looking women to those who were previously right-swiped. CupidBot didn't provide specifics on how it determines this, but it sounds like their AI might be scanning faces of women... who have no idea their appearances are being so crassly commodified by an algorithm.
That's somehow not the worst thing about CupidBot, though. Beyond simply curating, it says it also deploys an AI chatbot to break the ice with anyone matching with its user.
The AI then apparently masquerades as the man behind the dating profile, and continues to talk and flirt with its unsuspecting target, until the woman agrees to a date or to share their number. At that point, the app sends a notification to the user telling them about the date it just secured for them. And no, at no point does the bot disclose its nonhuman nature.
"We do strongly advise our users to tell the women once they've gotten their contact information," the spokesperson told Vice.
Though CupidBot's spokesperson insisted the goal isn't to "objectify women," everything about this app sure is going out of its way to treat women as merely something to be automatically curated and tricked into playing along.
Unsurprisingly, the motives of CupidBot's creators are about as thuddingly dull and misguided as you'd expect.
The company claims that straight men — and this is a real quote, from a real spokesperson — "suffer most from dating apps," and that they're the "most disadvantaged" on Tinder. Which is exactly what a straight man who hasn't had success on a dating app would say. Which probably has nothing to do with, say, being the kind of person who'd think up an app like this. The spokesperson also explained that because of the "psychological impact" dating has on "young men in particular," Tinder is of "net social detriment."
Clearly, they aren't familiar with the research consistently showing how the majority of women on dating apps have experienced some form of harassment. Possibly because they're the exactly type of people that believe they're correcting the "net social detriment" of dating apps by creating an app that uses an AI to... harass women until they date them.
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