Quarter of polled Americans say they use AI to make them hotter in online dating

Roses are red, violets are blue, a machine made my profile alluring to you

Almost a quarter of US singles polled by antivirus slinger McAfee said they are using generative AI to smarten up their online dating profiles with hotter photos, more imaginative chat-up lines, and such stuff.

In a survey of 7,000 adults across the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, India, and Japan, the cyber-biz found people aren't shy about putting those tools to work to assist their search for companionship. Indeed, the survey found that 45 percent of men worldwide, and 39 percent of all adults, have contemplated having a machine write a Valentine's Day letter to a love interest this year.

The poll also revealed:

  • 23 percent of surveyed Americans said they used AI tools to "create photos or other content when dating online."
  • 30 percent of men and 27 percent of women globally are using AI to inject something extra into dating profiles, images, and when messaging potential dates.
  • One in four Americans hope to use AI to write Valentine's Day missives this year, compared to 26 percent in 2023.

Interestingly, 69 percent of respondents stated that AI-generated content has made their online dating endeavors more successful – they receive better responses from people they approach using AI-generated messages compared to missives they penned alone. Presumably that's 69 percent of those who used machine-learning to boost their dating experience.

And funnily enough, those surveyed aren't in love with the idea that potential partners employ AI. Nearly two-thirds said they would trust someone less if they knew that their photos or online dating profiles had been generated by software.

There's a darker side to these generative AI tools, McAfee warned. Miscreants can use them to spin up fake identities and personalities to attract victims and then subject them to various scams. We're told a third of Americans surveyed chatted to a love interest who later turned out to be a fraudster.

"Unfortunately, we know cyber criminals also use AI to scale malicious activity. With love-seekers spending more time online leading up to Valentine's Day, scammers are using AI to pose as love interests to steal money or personal information," Steve Grobman, McAfee's chief technology officer, warned.

The risks people face when dating online seem quite high. 57 percent of US-based survey respondents said they had been asked to send money after meeting someone for a date. Roughly a tenth of all the people polled revealed they were asked to share their passwords and social security numbers, while 20 percent were quizzed for their exact birth dates.

Fake AI-made content is forcing netizens to become more sophisticated when vetting potential love interests. For example, 38 percent of respondents said they reverse searched a person's profile photo to double check their appearance as an identity verification measure, and 59 percent said they inspect dating site members' other social media profiles to check their online activity.

"We encourage people to balance romantic hope with healthy skepticism, to pause before sharing sensitive information online, and to ensure they use the right tools to protect their privacy, identity, and personal information," Grobman concluded. ®

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