Love in the Time of Algorithms

Did You Get a Really Romantic Message on OKCupid That Sounded Kinda Like a Robot? It Might Be AutoCupid

what to write Did You Get a Really Romantic Message on OKCupid That Sounded Kinda Like a Robot? It Might Be AutoCupid

Lovespam.

Feminists: We hope you’re sitting down for this. A local developer has put together a slightly tongue-in-cheek hack to help hapless guys on OKCupid. It’s an algorithmic version of Cyrano de Bergerac that generates a (supposedly) catchy opener based on unusual words in a user’s profile. A female user’s profile, specifically.

“Are you frustrated by how many messages you have to write just to get a date? …and getting laid is even worse!” hacker David Kay writes by way of introducing AutoCupid. “Did you know that the average guy has to message over 100 girls to get ONE of them in bed?”

The app promises to reach more girls than is possible with the copy-paste method, which, let’s face it, accounts for much of online dating banter. Plus, it “uses machine learning to make sure you’re on top of your game,” which means “more lays.” AutoCupid scans each profile and compares it to other OKCupid profiles, picks out unusual words and then looks the words up on Wikipedia and generates a charmingly offbeat message. (For example: “You have sleep paralysis? Me too! In Chinese culture, sleep paralysis is widely known as “鬼壓身/鬼压身” (pinyin: guǐ yā shēn) or “鬼壓床/鬼压床” (pinyin: guǐ yā chuáng), which literally translate into “ghost pressing on body” or “ghost pressing on bed.”)

The marketing is obviously targeting women, who are often outnumbered by men on dating sites, but we assume it could work the other way around. There is plenty here to skeeve a girl out–Mr. Kay refers to the message recipient as a “target” and lays the bro-speak on thick:

Do you date online?

Are you frustrated by how many messages you have to write just to get a date? …and getting laid is even worse!

Did you know that the average guy has to message over 100 girls to get ONE of them in bed?

DAMN!!

At that rate, hopping on the “casual encounters” section on craigslist starts to sound like a good option.

That works for some people, but I’m going to presume that you don’t want to get an STD.

Here’s the old-fashioned solution: You beg your friends for intros to chicks. With any luck, one of them might rank one notch higher than “homely” on the 1-10 scale. Because girls are “so hard to meet,” you’d better lock her in by marrying her and pop out some average kids in an average home and live an average lifestyle.

PUHH-LEASE!

I’d rather marry a Fleshlight. I hear that in some states it’s legal to do so. So hey, there’s always that.

I dunno about you, but those options don’t sound too hot.

Good thing I’m here to save your butt from certain doom!

So what are we going to do about the situation?

Well, what if I said you could get a ROBOT to write your messages for you?

You may not believe me, but YOU CAN!!!

AutoCupid is the world’s first app to write your dating messages for you!

Subscribe to the dating newsletter and get 50 percent off the (unannounced) price when AutoCupid launches. Word to the wise: If things go well, wait a bit before you tell the girl she fell for a spambot.

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com