DATA isn’t easy and has only proven harder in the age of short attention spans and social media.
I decided to try my luck with an artificial intelligence-powered dating app — but the results have been pretty mixed.
iris calls itself “your personal matchmaker” as users walk through the process step-by-step to train the app’s AI technology.
To do this, users are asked to go through different stock photo ranking modules to train the technology to understand the facial features they find most attractive.
Potential matches can be found anywhere in the world – which is definitely fascinating for someone like me who has traveled to almost 40 countries on all seven continents.
“I started this company because I believe that mutual attraction is the most valuable asset. It’s always been incredibly rare for thousands of years,” said Igor Khalatian, Founder and CEO of iris Dating, in one of the app’s welcome videos.
The videos, which appear in each new training phase of the app, contain a variety of tips aimed at improving the user experience when dealing with the app and its technology.
It is suggested that if users take the time to watch each video, it will be easier for users to understand the app and find better matches.
While the jury is yet to speak on this, I’ve stopped taking the time to look at every single video that has surfaced as I began my journey with Iris.
To start, users must upload a selfie to prove they are real and not a robot, as Iris opposes catfishing.
Additional photos can be added to their profile later.
When taking the selfie, the app specifically states: “No nudity / No minors / No group photos.”
It really wants to see a user’s face clearly so it can best match them with others – which makes sense given the app’s premise.
iris then asks you to select your “flavors” or hobbies, interests and passions.
Flavors was an odd choice of words that made me pause, but I moved on after picking my eight interests.
LIKE, MAYBE, PASS
“Hello! I’m Iris. I can get you on a date faster with artificial intelligence,” the app’s screen says when users enter phase 1.
The three phases allow users to teach Iris her type and preferences in a romantic interest.
iris then shows users random stock photos to learn more about their likes and dislikes.
“I’ll even know who finds you attractive before they see your profile!” The app claims.
Users have the option to choose from three options as each new photo appears: Like, Maybe, or Skip.
From Phase 1 to Phase 2, the app claims that users “should see a slight improvement in the amount of photos you’re attracted to.”
I personally didn’t find much of a difference and shared almost every photo shown.
During Phase 3, the app claims, “I’ll keep refining your #AttractionDNA.”
I liked more photos in phase 3 which gave me more hope.
At the end of the three phases, users add a bio with a maximum of 1000 characters.
Then the app sorts profiles into two groups: Iris Picks, which “search for chemistry around the world,” and Discover, which prioritizes those in close proximity.
“If Iris finds a high level of mutual attraction, we’ll pay for a plane ticket so you can meet! Contact us for more information,” the app reads.
The US Sun reached out to Iris to find out more about this offer.
mountains of frustration
As I progressed through the stages and actually selecting potential matches, I encountered a handful of obstacles.
To see all your matches – including the ones you’ve “liked” – you’ll need to pay for a subscription to the app.
This differs from the basic versions of other dating apps like Hinge, where users can see all of their matches but have a set number of likes that can be used each day.
It was definitely frustrating going through all the stages of the app only to find that I couldn’t see all of my potential matches.
It was also strange to me – given the three options available in every new profile I was presented with – that every time I selected “maybe” that person would then end up in my “Matches” section if they “liked” me .
I believe there should be a separate option for the “maybe” instead of putting it in the “like” list.
THE FIRST GAME
It was exciting to see – after spending so much time training the app – that matches were popping up.
Some definitely fit my “type” more than others.
But the first person to reach out and start a conversation caught my attention — and not necessarily in the best way.
“Hello, I would like to take you to the cinema, but you are not allowed to bring your own snacks,” he began.
“How do you feel?”
While I appreciated the effort (kinda), cheesy pick-up lines don’t really do it for me.
However, I later had an entire conversation in Spanish with a guy in Brazil, which was lovely.
As someone who has traveled the world and back, it’s exciting to imagine that I could match Iris with someone from another country.
The thought of connecting with people who grew up differently and have been immersed in different cultures is what excites me about dating at this stage in life.
In that regard, an app like Iris could definitely work for someone like me.
I also acknowledge that the premise of picking potential matches based primarily on looks is superficial — although in 2023, thanks to social media and apps like Facetune, nothing is as it seems anyway.
However, the app definitely has some flaws that affect the user experience.
AI technology hasn’t – and still doesn’t excite – me and I’m not entirely convinced that it works.
Every day I still find far more people to “pass on” than I “may” or “like”.
While I recognize that the app is new and doesn’t have as many users as other apps, it’s still disappointing when I think about the fact that I’ve spent so much time training the technology only to come across an overwhelming number bumping into people who don’t belong to me at all “dude.”
I’m confident that as the app and technology continue to grow and evolve, there will be more intriguing potential matches – and maybe even real-world data – in my future.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7384796/tested-ai-dating-app-cringe-opening-lines-maybe-matches/ I tested an AI dating app – it promised better options, but I still suffered from terrifying opening lines and “maybe” matches