Sneaky Ways AI Is Being Used On Dating Apps—And How It’s Affecting the Dating Scene

written by LEXI INKS
dating apps"
dating apps
Source: Elevae
Source: Elevae

If you were around in the era of Myspace and MTV’s heyday, you may be familiar with the origins of catfishing—pretending to be someone you’re not online. In the age of social media, it’s now easier than ever to enhance some aspects of ourselves digitally. Many of us have chosen to opt for a filter when taking a quick snap without wearing makeup a time or two, but did you that AI is being used on dating apps now, by both the apps themselves and their users?

Believe it or not, tools like ChatGPT and other AI-based platforms and products have already made their way into the modern dating space. While this technology is continually developing and society is finding new ways to explore its function, leveraging AI is not uncommon—although it can be hard to detect.

While utilizing AI features to help you in your dating journey may seem like an attractive way to save time, improve your odds, and relieve dating fatigue, there’s a big difference between using apps that count on AI to improve algorithms and allowing AI to do all the heavy lifting for you. With that said, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about AI in the dating world, from how it’s being used to what you should watch out for if you’re navigating online dating right now.

How AI is being used on dating apps

To write dating app messages

Other than the typical “Hey” or “How was your day?” messages you may opt for when initially matching with someone, coming up with good opening lines on a dating app can be hard. You want to think of something creative but not too forward or strange and leave it open-ended so they have something to respond to. Keeping the conversation going is sometimes a task as well. With that in mind, CNBC reports that one in three men aged 18-34 use ChatGPT for dating advice, in addition to 14 percent of women. Some tools, like, even write these messages for you.

While this may seem like a helpful feature to those who get nervous or choked up when talking to new matches, counting on AI to hold a conversation for you removes authenticity. After all, you want the person you’re talking with to get to know you, not who AI thinks you should be.

To choose profile photos on a dating app

Limit group photos, make sure your pictures are recent, include full-body shots, and avoid hats or sunglasses; these rules can make choosing the best profile photos as difficult as writing a good dating app bio. According to HubSpot, apps like Tinder and OkCupid have started to explore AI tools that help users optimize their profiles, like making sure they’re choosing the “best” photos to represent themselves. These features are based on the swiping behaviors of others, so when a photo is identified as the one that made someone swipe right on your profile, the app will take note and suggest it as your main photo.

This is kind of like asking a friend which pictures you should choose, but this time AI is letting you know which photo other users like the most. But let’s make one thing clear: You should use photos that you think best represent you, not the ones that are preferred by a computer and strangers. If they happen to be the same photos, great! If not, don’t change them for the sake of AI’s calculations.

To choose compatible matches

Swiping through the endless dating pool in your area can get old after a while, especially if you live in a larger city. Apps that have a large user base may offer you a variety of people to choose from, but sifting through profiles that aren’t your type can become understandably frustrating. This is where AI comes in. Dating apps under the Match Group (Tinder,, Hinge, and OkCupid) and a new app called Iris use AI-based algorithms to learn the kind of person you’re most likely to swipe right on. So, the hope is that you spend less time swiping left and more time chatting with people whom you may be compatible with.

How does this work, you ask? The app learns as you swipe. Then, it uses the characteristics and features of the people you like to suggest better matches. The downfall of this, according to HubSpot’s Associate Marketing Manager, Erin Rodrigue, is that “your perfect match could be on the app, but they may not fit its algorithmic criteria.” Meaning, you’re only going to see who the app thinks you’ll like, and less of other potentially great suitors.

To create dating profile photos

Some folks who are camera-shy or don’t feel their best in recent selfies are turning to AI for help. Sites like use actual photos you upload to create “better” AI-generated pictures for you to use on your profile. Once you upload around 20 photos of yourself on the app, it analyzes your features and creates enhanced images. Think: abs on a beach or a professional headshot… even if you have no abs and don’t work in a suit and tie setting.

In a world where dating online can already be intimidating and even dangerous at times, it’s really important to be aware that some people might not actually look like the photos they are showing. This takes catfishing to a whole new level and is something to watch out for.

To build a dating app profile

Customizing your profile on a dating app can be difficult, to say the least. If you’re someone who doesn’t usually like to talk about themself, what do you even write in your bio? AI platforms like ChatGPT have been commonly used to help singles craft their profile. They can give you ideas and inspiration for how to write a bio and even tell you what profile characteristics to use. For example, it might encourage you to use the “dating intentions” profile option on Hinge or the lifestyle choices you can list on Tinder. While this may seem innocent at first, it’s a slippery slope to letting ChatGPT write your entire profile for you. It’s OK to get inspiration and advice similar to how you might ask a friend what features you should use, but you don’t want to be inauthentic in how you’re portraying yourself.

How you can use AI to your advantage

Gain support

Whether you’re new to online dating or struggle to meet quality matches, wanting support isn’t a bad thing. Back in the day (AKA before AI), we’d ask our friends or family to look over our profiles to provide tips on how we can put our best foot forward. Now, AI is capable of doing that, plus more. Through previously mentioned features like telling you what prompts to use in your profile, for example, you can gain guidance right at your fingertips. However, it’s important to note that AI doesn’t actually know you, and your friends and family do. So if you’re looking for some advice, we still recommend counting on your bestie to ensure you’re being authentic.

dating apps
Source: @polina-tankilevitch | Pexels

Keep things interesting

While we don’t think that you should count on ChatGPT to draft your opening lines and hold an entire conversation for you, you can use it to keep your conversation interesting. For example, you can ask ChatGPT to suggest some games that you and your match can play back and forth. Or, you can ask it to create funny songs or poems about the two of you that you can laugh about together. As long as you’re being upfront with your match that you’re asking ChatGPT for these things and not telling them that you’re the songwriter, all is fair and fun.

Optimize your experience

Some AI platforms like also offer services like scanning and analyzing your profile to make sure you’re representing yourself well through your bio and preferences. Again, it is a machine, so take it with a grain of salt. But, platforms base their advice on thousands of other profiles it has come into contact with to show you how you can make the most out of yours. For example, if you have no idea how to start building a profile, you can use AI to guide you on what to include like prompts, hobbies, and more.

For people who don’t like to talk about themselves and leave their profile practically blank because of it, this can help and encourage them to showcase their true qualities. In turn, this could lead to more matches. Think about it: If AI says to include some of your hobbies to enhance your profile and you write that you love playing tennis on the weekend, another tennis fan might see that on your profile and get excited that you have similar interests to them. If you never listed your hobbies, you could miss out on a potentially great match.

What to watch out for if you’re navigating dating in an AI world

Scams are common

Many benefits of using AI on dating apps can have negative effects, as we know, but some can be quite serious. For example, Bloomberg recently reported that fraudsters create scam accounts on dating apps using AI-generated photos to attract matches. These scammers look for anything from money to explicit content, so it’s important to notice the red flags in a dating profile and question if those AI photos represent a real person.

It can be unethical

Speaking of AI photos, the use of them comes with serious drawbacks—not to mention, a safety concern. While it’s tempting to upload AI images that hide skin imperfections, matching with someone and planning a date will ultimately reveal what they really look like. And the scariest part? They might not look even remotely like they said they did. Aside from truly getting catfished or scammed, using altered photos, even if it’s simply to blur skin, doesn’t represent who a person truly is and isn’t the most honest or ethical way to start a relationship. If altering your photos in any way is something you’re tempted to do, I urge you to ask a good friend to help you take some fun and flattering shots instead. This way, you know that you are presenting yourself in the best and most accurate light possible.

It can remove authenticity

ChatGPT’s ability to single-handedly hold a conversation for other people is also problematic and could lead to a negative experience, as well. Although it’s a great tool to create games and bounce ideas off of, allowing a computer to continue conversations doesn’t leave much room for people to let their personalities shine. You’re quite literally talking to a robot at that point. Using AI to keep the conversation flowing can also cause awkwardness IRL when real-time personality and conversation skills come into play. It’ll become clear pretty quickly that who you’re talking to isn’t as flirty, bold, funny, or kind (or however else they asked ChatGPT to make them sound), in real life as they portrayed themselves to be.

Final thoughts

Despite how scary it may seem sometimes, the most important thing to remember when you’re using dating apps is that people want to see the real you. Confidence and authenticity are sexy, and others can tell when you embrace all the parts of who you are, flaws and all. Using AI to give you tips or help keep the conversation interesting can be a great tool, but don’t rely on it to create a false impression of your personality or alter your physical features. Who you are is enough, and you deserve to find whatever connection you desire—no robots needed.

For safety purposes, stay on top of AI advances in the news, through friends, and more, so you always know what to look out for online. And of course, know what AI features the apps you’re using are utilizing to potentially alter your experience. AI technology will continue to advance and develop over time, so staying in the loop on all the ways it is being used can ensure you put yourself in the best and safest position to find a match.