Human ingenuity has brought us hot showers, self-driving cars, and men on the moon. But not all innovations are created equal. Case in point: dating app AI bots, the romantic equivalent of a Twitter troll bot, and effectively a push up bra for your personality. is a pioneer of romantic artificial intelligence. Its “profile poet” will help you create the ideal bio, and its “banter bot” can spit out an AI generated response to any message you receive. Already, north of 64,000 users have flocked to the service—meaning the number of unwitting daters being chatted up by chatbots is probably in the hundreds of thousands.

I wanted to give YourMove a fair shot, so I tested out the service myself.Once it got working, it was simple and seamless—taking all the friction and effort out of hitting on a match. Users simply input a message they received or upload a screenshot of their conversation, and the bot spits out three potential responses to pick from. A handy “copy and paste” button is right there, so you don’t even have to bother re-typing your chosen message out to your potential date.

The results were less than dazzling: It’s clear that YourMove has to work on its game. The bot suggests responding to a “hey” with “Hey! What’s up?” or “Hey there beautiful, how’s your day going?” while the suggested responses to the good old classic “what’s up” included “just crushing it at life, what about you,” “just thinking about how lucky I am to be texting with someone as amazing and gorgeous as you,” and “just thinking about how I could make your day better ;).”

robot love

But to be fair, it’s still early days, and artificial intelligence wisens up quickly. But even if the service develops charm—perhaps especially so—the entire concept is downright dystopian.

On one hand, I’ll admit I understand what might make someone consider going automated. Let’s be honest: Online dating is shitty. Swiping is a pain. And ghosting is exhausting. As a begrudging dating app user myself, I can sympathize with anyone who wants to minimize their time spent swiping and trading “hey”s.

But unleashing bots into the mess will only make it all the shittier. There’s just something seriously wrong with the idea that a hopeless romantic’s heart might flutter over a message spat out of a bot. Anyone who’s stooping to this level of dating AI is either heartless or so lacking in personality that artificial platitudes are somehow an upgrade.

Either way, they better be taking great pains to make sure that their use of AI remains secret. I’d venture that pretty much every person who found out they were texting with AI would drop that prospect like a hot cake.

Because you know what’s even more degrading than online dating? Finding out the guy you like set you up with a robot and couldn’t even be bothered to actually lift a finger and send you a quick text himself.

Dating apps have already robbed us of fleeting glances across the room and the tension of wondering “does she like me too?” Swiping smoothed over the messiness and discomfort of putting yourself out there. Now bots are taking all the moving out of making the first move.

What’s left of the chase and the pursuit?

Everything that’s messy and beautiful about falling in love is being sapped right out of the process. Romance is at the core of the human experience. And exporting it to a digital assistant is a betrayal of intimacy itself.

Rikki Schlott is a columnist at the New York Post.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.

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