Will ChatGPT Ruin Online Dating?

Many believe that intelligent chatbot ChatGPT will change the landscape of education, work, and now online dating. But with computer-generated text so readily available to singles, one study looks at whether ChatGPT will benefit or harm the online dating experience. 

Leah Davina Junck, a researcher from the University of Cape Town, highlights that users on Tinder have already started to make use of ChatGPT to help craft creative lines in conversations, and create interesting profile bios.

Junck explains that ChatGPT helps reduce the labour that goes into the early stages of making a new connection, taking over the responsibility of demonstrating wit and banter. But does this erode trust between users?

ChatGPT is often seen as an effective way for students to cheat on exams, prompting a reflection on how the education system works. Similarly, online dating culture could be in need of a refreshed look at ChatGPT and trust, she argues.

Much like cliche opening lines, or manipulated images on profiles, the opening stages of a connection are often “inauthentic’ already, Junck points out. ChatGPT may actually be a breath of fresh air, helping users to be bold in their early interactions rather than bereft of ideas.

“My research found that the initial stage of Tinder dating, the online part, was recognised and humoured as a necessary stepping stone to get to the ‘real stuff’”, she wrote.

In that way, ChatGPT could be a stepping stone to help new matches get through the tedious initial opening stages, and pave the way for them to be their authentic selves once that is out of the way.

Junck agrees saying “a performance of confidence through ChatGPT cannot be maintained for long anyway. Once it wears thin and questions become more personal, people have to fall back on their ability to communicate sensitively, take risks, and slowly build trust”.

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