Dating in 2023 is a terrible experience.
On the metro, people are glued to their phones, and there’s no more room to get to know someone in real life. Millions of people turn to dating apps like Tinder, where they swipe through hundreds of photos to find their true love. But Tinder is usually no fairy tale. Many hours of swiping and chatting later, the average user is still alone, far removed from a meaningful and lasting relationship.
Today, that changes.
Introducing the greatest shift in human relationship making: TindAI™. No more hours of swiping. TindAI™ uses advanced algorithms to find the one for you, guaranteed. All you have to do is share a few personal details. TindAI™ uses advertising information and cookies stored on your device to enrich your profile. All of that is fed into our advanced algorithm, which will present you with your true love.
A single match.
In TindAI™, you won’t have to swipe through thousands of faces to find someone with whom you can build a sustainable relationship. They are there, right from the beginning.
Immediately after TindAI™ presents you with a match, you notice the chemistry. They have many common interests, but enough different traits to complement you perfectly. After chatting for a while, you are both dying to see each other. Well, TindAI™ makes that super easy with its built-in video call feature.
Starting the call, you get blown away by how the other person looks. They are even more beautiful than they seemed in the pictures! Not in an ‘instagram-perfect’ sort of way. No, it’s in a way that feels real. Like you two were made for each other. Talking to this person, all nerves immediately fade away. They are so easy to talk to! Anything they say resounds perfectly on a deeply emotional level.
Soon, you find yourself sharing all your intimate secrets with them, and they do the same with you. You haven’t even seen each other in person yet, but you already feel like you know them better than anyone else you know.
Pretty cool huh? Sounds like an app you would download?
Well, let me tell you: there’s something sinister going on.
We’re entering an era where AI can generate videos. And it won’t be long before it’s possible to generate highly-personalized real-time videos emulating a person video-chatting. As soon as that is possible, we have ourselves the perfect weapon for mass-manipulation and data collection.
Nowadays, the digital content we consume makes up a large part of our reality. Sometimes, it even polarizes our views and affects our real-life social connections. But what if the lines between the digital world and reality become even more blurred?
What prompted me to write this is that I watched a video called The AI Dilemma, which discusses a potential existential risk originating from our inability to properly align AI. The video starts off with a breakdown of the unintended negative consequences of the social media era (addiction, polarization, fake news, etc). Then, it makes a case for the potential negative consequences of our current AI era.
After watching the video, I was still missing a concrete example. I understand the risks, but history has also taught us that humanity is extremely adaptive. When it comes to a literal existential risk, I find it especially hard to see how such a thing could happen completely outside our control. Especially since it takes time for technology to penetrate the physical domain (hence why self-driving cars are still not common).
Through fiction, we can experience potential future outcomes. TindAI™ is a silly example, but I think the likelihood of a similar nefarious platform being created is a rather high. Capitalism dictates that innovation follows money. It just so happens that data collection and social manipulation are extremely profitable (yours sincerely, the advertising industry).
Anyway, until we get there, we can only speculate. But it’s good to keep evaluating whether the current direction will secure us a bright future.
Because before we know it, we have Social Media 2.0.