May 28, 2024


Bumble Founder and Executive Chair Whitney Wolfe Herd defended her dating app’s current and upcoming AI features on stage in San Francisco on Thursday. She went on to describe a version of the future where “AI-dating concierges” message each other on a human’s behalf.

“You could, in the near future, be talking to your AI dating concierge. You could share your insecurities,” Wolfe Herd said on stage at the Bloomberg Technology Summit. “There is a world where your dating concierge could go and date for you with other dating concierges.”

Bloomberg’s Emily Chang and an audience of people erupted with laughter. Many found the idea of a world of AI chatbots dating each other jarring.

“No no truly,” Wolfe Herd continue. “And then you don’t have to talk 600 people. It could scan all of San Francisco for you and say these are the three people you really ought to meet. So that’s the power of AI if harnessed the right way.”

Though this robotic future of dating sounds far out, Bumble is already testing out some AI features. Bumble’s Private Detector, Deception Detector, and For You features all utilize AI to improve user safety and connection.

Wolfe Herd stepped down as Bumble’s CEO in Nov. 2023 but remains very involved in the company. She says women tell her it’s exhausting to constantly create original responses. To address this, Bumble has released “Opening Move,” a new feature that takes the pressure off of women by allowing them to select a prewritten message instead of creating one on their own. It’s not AI, but some suspect these prewritten messages could become AI-generated in the future.

“Dating is exhausting. We wanted to preserve the safety and original inspiration behind making the first move,” Wolfe Herd said.

Bumble’s idea is to have an AI concierge learn about you, and the person you’re chatting with, to preserve the integrity of the dating experience. In February Gizmodo reported on a Russian man who claimed to date over 5,000 women using ChatGPT. It seems that dating apps are picking up on this strategy, and Bumble is exploring these options.

Correction, May 10: A previous version of this story said Opening Move was one of Bumble’s AI features. Opening Move offers pre-written human responses at this time. Bumble says more AI features are coming to the app however, and it already makes use of AI to protect users’ privacy, detect scams, and find potential matches.

A version of this article originally appeared on Gizmodo.



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