Can AI make dating apps safer? (Or at least less raunchy?)

Some dating app companies are testing whether artificial intelligence can weed out unwanted advances. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/Tero Vesalainen)

Millions of Americans use dating apps to find a date at least, and maybe a longer-term relationship, but dating app introductions sent by interested users can sometimes be blunt and sexually explicit.

That’s just what some singles are looking for but not everyone.

Some users even feel threatened by the messages they receive.

“There have been a number of studies that have shown harassment can be common on these platforms,” Toby Cox, with D.C.-based business how-to and research firm The Manifest, told WTOP.

“Our findings show that 72% of people have blocked another user on the app they are using in the past six months, and nearly 60% have reported someone else on the platform for inappropriate behavior,” she said.

Artificial intelligence may be able to intervene.

Tinder, the largest dating app by number of users, with nearly 9 million subscribers, is now testing AI to help protect users from unwanted advances.

“The algorithm can detect when there is offensive language, and it asks the user if the language offends them,” Cox said. “The user can say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ and over time that algorithm will learn that user’s individual tolerances and preferences.”

Artificial intelligence may eventually keep senders from sending inappropriate greetings, by asking users to think twice before sending unsavory messages.

Deleting a dating app because the user didn’t feel safe is the No. 4 reason for dating apps being deleted, according to The Manifest.

The top reason for deleting the app is boredom, followed by stress, and success — deleting the app because the user met someone through the app.

Most dating app users, 93% according to The Manifest, have deleted a dating app in the past six months.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up