Tinder users adhere to roughly two philosophies. There are the maximalist users who swipe right on every photo, embracing the possibility of a match with every person on the dating app. Then there are the minimalists, carefully agonizing over each potential partner, over-analyzing profile photos and mutual friend lists in search of The One True Hookup.
Nicole He’s True Love Tinder Robot takes the guesswork out of either swiping strategy.
A graduate student at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, she set out to build a bot that would automate the matchmaking process. Using a robotic hand and skin sensors, her True Love Tinder Robot reads the user’s physical response to Tinder profiles and swipes left or right accordingly.
“It measures something called galvanic skin response, which is basically the electrical resistance in your body,” He told The Daily Beast. “The idea is that when you get excited, you get a little bit sweatier, which decreases the resistance. The robot measures this change over time as you are looking at each Tinder profile.”
But the True Love Tinder Robot experience is as much about human-computer relations as it is about finding a match.
"In a time when it's very normal for couples to meet online, we trust that algorithms on dating sites can find us suitable partners. Simultaneously, we use consumer biometric devices to tell us what’s going on with our bodies and what we should do to be healthy and happy,” He wrote on her blog. “This project explores the idea that the computer knows us better than we know ourselves, and therefore it has better authority on who we should date than we do.”
The True Love Tinder Robot taps into our tense relationships with technology, murmuring unnerving statements in soothing computerized tones.
“Hello, human. I am the True Love Tinder Robot. I’m going to help you find love,” the machine’s Siri-esque voice tells users. “You can trust me because I am a robot.”
The machine’s sense of humor grows darker as it swipes, a passive-aggressive quirk inspired by GLaDOS, the malicious artificial intelligence system from the videogame “Portal.”
“Judge this person,” True Love Tinder Robot instructs users. “Determine if this person has any value. Nope.” “Can you see yourself spending your life with this person? You’re not very picky, are you?”
But can the True Love Tinder Robot actually help users find a partner in this cold, cold world?
“Yes, it will definitely find you love,” He said. “100 percent guarantee.”