I met my husband when I was 19, started dating him when I was 20, got engaged by 21, married at 24.
Long story short. I’ve never known the joys of internet-dating. Me and my husband have had a very Downton Abbey kind of courtship.. Well….kind of…if you disregard the fact that I became interested in him because he had a big beautiful mow-hawk.
Before that the only time I spoke to boys was to borrow their video-games.I didn’t come from a restrictive family, I was just a nerdy late bloomer in all areas related to romance. Which completely explains my longstanding relationship with conversational UI and AI in general.
Like any curious person, when ever I’m around single people I want to browse their dating life. I envy them, and worry for them.
What strikes me though, both in my own life and the lives of my fabulously single friends, is that there is a lack of flirtation. And there is a lot of empty talk. In most cases I’m not so sure the person they’re talking to isn’t a chatbot! chatbot.
If Tinder had a Turing-test feature, I’m pretty sure the test would be passed at first try.
That’s how horribly stale and confusing some of the interactions are..
So I figured. What if I too could have a Tinder conversation? But mine would be with a Chat-bot! Most flirtatious bots out there, are quite vulgar. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But what about the romance?
Beyond that, they’re on shady sites that are there to give your poor computer the digital form of STD, viruses and trojans.
So why not create a safe flirtatious bot, that acts as your generic Tinder flirt and gives you some much needed boost, without any of the annoyance of having to deal with a human.
So I created a questionnaire to establish how people flirt. Since I am completley out of the loop, I asked for the wisdom of others.
The first step - A questionnaire about flirting
Key points from survey:
Once I got the basics of it down, I had to ask myself.
What is this point to all of this? What do I want to achieve?There are three aspects that I wanted to bring forth:
a) a place where people could practice flirting! Showing, by doing, what a pleasent and polite conversation can be that both compliments and uplifts another human.
b) providing both men and women a neutral ego booster that they can use to boost self confidence.
c) to explore the nature of relationship between human and algorithm as well as commercial bot-platforms.
If this bot was to feel real, it had to deal with the complexities of human emotions. Humor and silliness being one aspect.
Testing my bot
Needless to say, I ended up in the “Essential and generic” Bot-response quite quickly. So I tried focusing on another one. Support and emotional bonding.
And for a while it went ok as I had placed more focus on developing dialogues with emotional content. But ultimately, that dreaded filler phrase came.Emojis are everything! GIFs say it all!. So in order not to sound too repetitive, my standard responses turned in to an emoji.
Instead of “Interesting to head, share more, I’m listening”
I made ;), in to a standard response. And added a few GIFs!
Yes, kind of annoying too, but it made the conversations flow!
It’s alive, well…almost
.So I’ve chosen the plattform in order to gather data. To grow conversations and build organic dialogue trees before I take it to the next level: creating a homepage and a proper coded version. I’m just too lazy to code something experimental, in particular something that I need to crowd source for knowledge first!
Itsalive.io is a limited but excellent platform for more straight forward
My friends try flirting
So my amazing friend and favourite artist Maria tested it. And surprisingly enough had a pretty good flow in the conversation.
Why don’t you flirt a little?
Help me grow this virtual lover. Talk to it, give me feedback and together, we’ll create more love in the world!The project needs users that will help give me user-driven feedback. Right now, the compilation of “if” and “then” are massive. But the more dynamic variable compositions can only be created if I have interesting conversations to get inspired by.