"AI boyfriends" are the new "AI girlfriends."

AI Boyfriend

Queer dating platform Grindr is betting big on generative AI — and even the company's own employees are preparing for the worst.

Following a disastrous two years of being publicly traded on the stock market, Grindr is hoping to move on by focusing on AI chatbots that you can sext, Platformer reports.

And no, we're not talking about coy interactions with a heavily moderated ChatGPT. Grindr wants to have the chatbots "engage in sexually explicit conversations with users," according to the report.

The company partnered with custom chatbot startup Ex-human in December. The plan at the time was to create "AI wingmen," per Bloomberg, to help users date other living humans.

But Grindr is now reportedly looking to take things a lot further. According to Platformer, the company is busy rewriting its terms of service to allow chatbots to be trained on a user's DMs if they consent, laying the groundwork for "AI boyfriends" that can flirt, sext, and be in a "relationship" with paying users.

It's a big swing, especially considering the potential for abuse and harassment. And perhaps as expected, Grindr has already encountered its experimental chatbots offering racist opinions, per the report.

And that shouldn't come as a surprise at this point. While we've seen other companies allow users to create "AI girlfriends," their efforts have been plagued by problems, from enabling verbal abuse and potentially inspiring gender-based violence to concerning privacy pitfalls.

Grindr Stone

Then there are the growing frustrations among users of dating apps with being overcharged. While the COVID-19 pandemic has turned out to be a boon for online dating apps, the industry has struggled to grow. Companies like Grindr and Tinder have been finding new ways to squeeze more money out of their existing users by offering expensive subscriptions and paywalling basic features.

Last month, Tinder owner Match Group announced a deal with OpenAI to use its large language model ChatGPT to allegedly help out behind the scenes, writing code, designing the website, and analysis.

Grindr is also trying to cash in on the trend with its "AI boyfriends" — but given the industry's track record and the considerable risks involved, it's anything but certain whether the new venture will work out.

The company's stock had already plummeted more than 70 percent since late 2022, while its app has garnered a reputation for being an unstable and buggy mess.

Despite a rocky past, investors are unperturbed. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that Wall Street is optimistic about its future, issuing Grindr's first "buy rating."

But whether this enthusiasm will survive a chaotic launch of a sexting AI chatbot feature is unclear at best.

More on dating apps: Tinder Signs Deal to License ChatGPT

Share This Article