back to article Quarter of polled Americans say they use AI to make them hotter in online dating

Almost a quarter of US singles polled by antivirus slinger McAfee said they are using generative AI to smarten up their online dating profiles with hotter photos, more imaginative chat-up lines, and such stuff. In a survey of 7,000 adults across the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, India, and Japan, the cyber-biz found …

  1. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

    Can someone explain?

    I never get this: now it's AI, once it was photoshop or whatever.

    Having never run into this situation, how does this go when reality turns out to be a massive let-down?

    Not only do you not look like the hot celeb photo you sent your date, you also are a dweeb incapable of conversation with the education level of mouldy bread.

    Just what do you hope will come out of that date? Apart from your... well, victim, really, throwing their drink in your face and storming out? Does your brain process truly run somewhere along the lines of "even though I lied from beginning to end about who and what I really am, surely once we've had dinner and drinks, nookie is on the cards!"?

    1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

      Re: Can someone explain?

      From TFA: 69 percent of respondents stated that AI-generated content has made their online dating endeavors more successful – they receive better responses from people they approach using AI-generated messages compared to missives they penned alone.

      This was self-reporting, which <SARCASM>would never be mistaken or flat-out lies!</SARCASM>

      But, by definition, most people are "average". Average people [I hypothesize] prefer [despite what they may claim] to date other average people, because they can better relate to each other. Most people have not read, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter. Fewer still understand it. GANs help people, via their user of computer-generated prose, can appear more "average" than they truly are, and thus, increase the number of dates they "get", though not the number of compatible dates they get, unless the GAN-user truly is "average".

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Can someone explain?

        You say that by definition most people are average, but most people have an above average number of legs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can someone explain?

      I was on dating websites around a decade ago and back then everything had to be taken with a large salt mountain. Misleading photos (10+ years old), stretching the truth on their profiles, etc. And that's just the ones who could write. (Eomjis & text message type language I just skipped right over)

      1. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

        Re: Can someone explain?

        Ah, that takes me back. Wife and I met on one of the early dating sites. When it was dial-up modems romantically screeching in the night.

        'Twas mostly nerds, engineers, academics then, before the Darkness came, before AOL.

        28 years... where has time gone...

    3. juice

      Re: Can someone explain?

      > I never get this: now it's AI, once it was photoshop or whatever.

      Arguably, it goes all the way back to handpainted locket portraits and long-distance romantic poetry ghost-written by a bard or somesuch.

      But, AI is the current in-thing, and buzzwords gotta buzz...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Can someone explain?

        Henry VIII was dead pissed off about the portrait of Anne of Cleves. He's also supposed to have said she smelled, but I don't see how you can blame Holbein for not putting that in the picture.

        Although the real reason may be more to do with him making an arse of himself on their first meeting - meaning she didn't find him attractive - when he wanted to be adored.

        I read an interesting piece written from the data collected by one of the big dating sites. Which they gave to a psychology department to do lots of studies on. A disporportionate numbe of women absolutely required men to be 6 feet tall. Even having 5'11" on your profile wasn't acceptable to them - so of course on first dates women were going to be meeting a lot of six-footers who didn't quite measure up. So the male profiles slowly changed so that there were almost no men whose profiles said they were between say 5'6" and 6'. Anybody who could even plausibly argue six-footedness on their date was going to try it, and I'd imagine that if they liked them when they met them that would all be fine. Most of the time.

        Cassanunda would just take his step-ladder...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Can someone explain?

          "Cassanunda would just take his step-ladder..."

          Buddy Clinton, 1957ish.

        2. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

          Re: Can someone explain?

          Ah, what my wife and I call the "Australian Male Syndrome".

          We were so confused when we first moved here. Still are, though gotten used to it. Being 189cm and 194cm, respectively, so around actual 6'2" and 6"4", rounded. Having just about every Aussie male we encounter telling us that they were 6-feet-plus-some-inches. Without blushing. With both of us looking distinctly *down* at them. No, heels or platform shoes are not involved.

          This isn't a rare occurrence, it's endemic. Even male friends of ours are guilty of it.

          Culminating, some years ago, with some co-worker of my wife, who was always claiming to be over 6 feet, standing next to her in a team photo *on his toes*! And still not coming up to her nose. She still has that photo.

  2. PhilipN Silver badge

    “a love interest who later turned out to be a fraudster”

    So what else is new?

  3. jake Silver badge

    My first question ...

    ... as always when it comes to these "surveys", is how exactly were the folks surveyed selected?

    Gut feeling is the numbers generated aren't worth the bits it took to display them on my screen.

    In other words, it's a complete waste of time on everybody's part ... but it got McAfee some free advertising on ElReg.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: My first question ...

      It's the old PR by fake survey thingy. There was a piece somewhere earlier this week claiming that 60% of university students now use "AI" to help them with their essays - with 20% admitting they just copy and paste whatever ansnwer they get as their essay.

      I'm fully prepared to believe that there are students using these language models to cheat. And also some using them more judiciously to help them get stuff done. But that 50% have worked out how to do it seems rather unlikely.

      Similarly with online dating. I'm sure there are people doing it. But not half. pop-pickers

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you’ve fallen as far as using a dating app

    I’m sorry for you.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: If you’ve fallen as far as using a dating app

      If you’ve fallen as far as using a dating app. I’m sorry for you.

      You must find it such a chore with people throwning themselves at your feet all the time wanting to shag your brains out thinking you're smartest person on the planet.

    2. VonDutch

      Re: If you’ve fallen as far as using a dating app

      For certain sections of society dating apps are quite important.

      If you're in an area without special interest bars or venues and a non-tolerant society around you, they provide a safe space where the people you approach are of a like mind and less likely to punch you in the face (or worse) for your orientation or identity.

      It's very closed-minded to think they're just the last resort for hopeful people to find a connection with someone.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: If you’ve fallen as far as using a dating app

        The apps, or even the platforms that the apps run on didn't exist for me when I was starting out in adult life.

        Each relationship I got into, just sort of happened out of nowhere without actually actively being sought. I eventually married one of them.

        I don't think I would have made a very good seeker of relationships.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: If you’ve fallen as far as using a dating app

          Several friends of mine have gone the online dating route. Some have had a lot of fun, which was the point. One has been happily married for twenty years, another for 5.

          On the other hand it almost seems to be like a job interview for some people. You have to carefully prepare your CV/profile, then screen out the weirdos from your replies, then chat for a few days to a couple of weeks with people on the app, and then Whatsapp/text, before finally meeting up for what seems to have become almost like a pre-first-date-coffee-first-interview situation - prior to the actual first date dinner meeting, where the final decision is made to appoint this person to official (at least temporary) partner.

          If you're just on the scene for quick dates and a shag, I think it's a lot easier (if you'll pardon the pun). But some of the women I've known who are doing it are taking it properly seriously - and have often taken breaks from the process of picking the next Mr Right, because they find it stressful. I definitely thing there's a lot of the "perfect is the enemy of the good" going on. A feeling that as all these options are available, it's vitally important not to let a good prospect slip through the net. While also avoiding getting murdered, or deluged with dick-pics.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: If you’ve fallen as far as using a dating app

            That's just too artificial for me to even contemplate.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: If you’ve fallen as far as using a dating app


              That's just too artificial for me to even contemplate.

              Yup. Seems pretty horrendous.

              However there's also the two married ones. I suspect the process is less awful if you go into it in a less demanding way, with lower exepectations. If you go in as a perfectionist neurotic, then you're going to have a bloody awful time. I've seen this, and it wasn't pretty. If you're more accepting that you can't sample the entire human race until you find the 100% perfect partner - and can enjoy the odd date that isn't great (even if that's by laughing about it afterwards) - then you can have success. And have fun doing it.

              I think it's also down the indiviudal foibles of the dating sites - some have weird sub-cultures. Your chosen site will differ if you're after a meaningful long-term relationship, someone to go to the opera with or just some casual sex?

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: If you’ve fallen as far as using a dating app

            "Several friends of mine have gone the online dating route. Some have had a lot of fun, which was the point. One has been happily married for twenty years, another for 5."

            Sounds a trifle sketchy. Do their spouses know they are using the dating sites?

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: If you’ve fallen as far as using a dating app


              Just to clarify, the having fun (read: casual sex) ones, are different people to the married ones. Can't tell if your post is a joke, as I now realise that my original post was rather ambiguously worded.

              The first people that I'd ever known to do online dating (when there was definitely a stigma attached to it, so others might not have admitted to it) got married back in about 1999. Whereas I know people in their late 70s who've used online dating after their spouses have died - so it's a totally mainstream now.

              I also know a couple who married after meeting playing EVE online. I'm presuming one of them will reveal themselves as a corp spy soon, and steal everything in the other's corp hangars...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everything virtual

    Will the fertility rates improve?

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge

    One in four Americans hope to use AI to write Valentine's Day missives this year, compared to 26 percent in 2023.

    So... fewer or the same within the margin of error.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Roses are red

      Violets are blue

      Cower puny fleshlings!

      Terminators are coming for you.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Violets are blue

        Roses are red

        I'm totally appalled

        Because that didn't scan

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Horridbloke

    What I don't understand is...

    ... why was McAfee asking about this and why the blazes did anyone answer?

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