Whitney Wolfe Herd
Bumble explores AI dating assistants to help users find love, but some worry it might increase isolation and be like dystopian tech. Wikimedia Commons

Imagine this: AI wingmen! That's the future of dating, according to Bumble's founder, who discussed "dating concierges" powered by AI at the Bloomberg Technology Summit.

As discussed at the Bloomberg Technology Summit, Bumble's founder, Whitney Wolfe Herd, envisioned AI taking over your dating life. In her talk with Bloomberg's Emily Chang, Wolfe Herd emphasised Bumble's use of AI to promote "healthy and equitable relationships," aiming to ease the burden on users.

In conversation with Chang, Wolfe Herd proposed "AI dating concierges" as a way for users to connect with AI assistants and share their dating concerns. "If you want to get really out there, there is a world where your dating concierge could go and date for you with other dating concierges," she said.

Bumble's Vision for AI-Powered Dating

A chuckle rippled through the crowd at Wolfe Herd's suggestion. "No. No. Truly," she countered, reinforcing her belief in the idea. Forget endless scrolling! AI can find your perfect match, Wolfe Herd exclaimed. This technology is already being explored, with reports suggesting some Chinese women use AI-powered boyfriends for emotional support and connection.

"And then you don't have to talk to 600 people. It could scan all of San Francisco for you and say, 'These are the three people you really ought to meet,'" the top executive said. "So that's the power of AI if harnessed the right way."

Building on her vision at the Bloomberg Summit, Wolfe Herd discussed AI's potential for improving communication on dating apps. In a September 2023 interview with Bloomberg's "The Circuit," she mentioned AI-powered coaching on flirting skills.

Wolfe Herd identified a common barrier to dating: A lack of confidence in flirting skills. She proposed using AI chatbots to address this concern by boosting user confidence before interacting with others on the platform.

The concept of AI-powered dating help has gained traction recently, with services like profile optimisers like YourMove.AI and simulated conversation partners like Volar entering the market. This trend coincides with the rise of AI platforms like Altcat, which allows users to create virtual companions modelled after celebrities or influencers.

This rise coincides with the development of generative AI, which can mimic human speech patterns. This technology has sparked discussions about its potential role in online dating, particularly as frustration with dating apps mounts and some users abandon them altogether.

Can AI Help Us Find Love?

Despite the growing popularity of AI-powered dating assistance, scepticism remains. A clip of Wolfe Herd's presentation at the Bloomberg Summit, garnering over 10 million views on X, revealed user concerns. Many expressed unease with AI dictating their dating lives, with some drawing comparisons to dark technology themes explored in the Netflix series "Black Mirror."

Others worry AI could exacerbate existing problems. They fear AI-driven dating might deepen the isolation and loneliness people have been experiencing in recent years.

Despite the concerns, Wolfe Herd remains optimistic about AI's role in fostering healthier connections. She envisions AI concierges acting as dating coaches, helping users unpack anxieties and offering communication tips to navigate interactions with potential matches.

She expressed that her goal is to leverage AI to empower users and ultimately "create more healthy and equitable relationships."

Bumble's former CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, stepped down in January 2024, handing the reins to Lidiane Jones, previously CEO of Slack Technologies. This leadership change coincided with a significant shift in the app. Bumble recently announced it would abandon its signature feature, the requirement for women to initiate conversations.

Following Bumble's shift away from its signature rule, Jones announced a new feature: "Opening Moves." This feature empowers women with more control over initiating conversations.