Navigating the online dating world is no easy task.
After weeks of swiping and chatting with unknown men, Katerina Lyadova, 30, realized she was wasting a lot of time and getting no results.
That’s why she decided to post an ad on Craigslist to hire “dating managers” and used the help of a robot and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to swipe right and have conversations with men for her.
“One you get into it, you enjoy it but after a while it becomes repetitive. It’s a lot of chit chat,” she said on CBC’s Metro Morning on Wednesday. “A lot of conversations aren’t meaningful and don’t give you a representation of who the person is.”
Lyadova admits outsourcing her dating life isn’t exactly normal, but she was interested in the experience as a social experiment and to see if it would actually lead to some success in her dating life.
She documented the process in a book, co-authored by Toronto-based writer Melissa Hughes, titled Dating Vandalized. The book outlines Lyadova’s experience of going on those dates. Her book will officially launch on Thursday.
“It sounded like a crazy idea and it started as a joke. My girlfriends [and I] were talking about online dating and saying how much time it takes, how people drop off and don’t respond and how frustrating it is,” she said.
Lyadova used the dating apps Tinder and OK Cupid to do the initial filtering and then her “dating managers” would use her information and pictures to initiate conversations.
“They were talking to these guys, asking them questions and checking them against my checklist that I gave them,” she said. “They would present them to me, and if I approved it they would schedule a date.”
‘Am I on a TV show?’
Using the robot, Lyadova said, wasn’t as effective in finding potential dates she actually liked but she could see AI playing a bigger role in dating in the future.
“Basically what the robot does, it uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition to do swiping for you. It learns what kinds of pictures you like and then swipes for you and then initiates conversations,” she said. “I think in the future it could be very possible. We might see more exciting results.”
Lyadova came clean to her dates about how she matched with them.
“Most of them actually liked the idea. They were interested in learning more,” she said. “One guy almost jumped on a chair saying, ‘Oh, am I on a TV show? Where is the camera?'”
Did it work?
Lyadova said outsourcing her dating life certainly saved her some time and she went on several dates she considers “successful.”
With an average of three or four dates per week over a three-month period, Lyadova said the process did help find interesting dates. She went on nearly 30 first dates and many subsequent dates.
As for finding a boyfriend? No luck yet, but the search continues.