The Tea: Grindr, the largest LGBTQ+ dating app in the world, announced today that it is collaborating with Ex-Human, a generative artificial intelligence startup, to integrate AI into its app.
- The exclusive partnership will include integrating Ex-Human's "flirt-bot" into the Grindr platform, with a goal of training the AI on Grindr user data
- According to Grindr Chief Product Officer AJ Balance, via press release, “By partnering with Ex-Human, Grindr has the opportunity to transform the dating experience for the global LGBTQ+ community. We look forward to rolling out innovative artificial intelligence-based features that help our users around the world make more meaningful connections with one another.”
How will it work? According to Grindr CEO George Arison, via Bloomberg:
- "The AI might suggest a restaurant to take a date to or select music based on a person’s profile that they might find aphrodisiacal if and when they come up for a drink. Or it might propose a few options for how to respond to incoming messages from prospective matches."
What is Ex-Human?: Founded in 2021, Ex-Human makes customizable chatbots, with a special focus on virtual girlfriends and boyfriends.
- The company uses AI and machine learning to facilitate more meaningful and emotionally fulfilling conversation.
But what about privacy? Privacy concerns are not new for Grindr:
- A former head of privacy at Grindr accused the company of repeatedly violating state and global privacy laws by collecting and retaining highly sensitive data including nude photos without clear consent
- A catholic group was exposed for purchasing Grindr data to track gay priests
- Grindr recently had to pay a $6 million fine for violating EU data-sharing regulations
Nevertheless, Grindr's executives say that the Ex-Human data will be integrated in a way that it stays in-platform. "We feel good about our infrastructure, and we do a lot of work to ensure that it’s safe,” CEO George Arison told Bloomberg.