ChatGPT made my Hinge profile…here’s what happened.

| Junior Forum Editor

Amelia’s Hinge profile, with a little help from ChatGPT.

Part 1: The Idea

Online dating apps and AI programs have both seen major developments in recent years. In fact, online dating is almost entirely built off of AI algorithms and programming in order to personalize matches. With the development of ChatGPT, which brought the technology of modern AI into the hands of everyday consumers, all user-created content online, including the words we use to present ourselves and contact others on dating apps, is open to AI’s interpretation. 

At the beginning of the semester, I heard vastly different remarks from my professors on whether or not utilizing ChatGPT on assignments was technically cheating. Most professors were adamant that using content created by ChatGPT was a clear violation of the honor code, but some put forward the idea that because the content created by ChatGPT did not exist before the student gave their input, that content is technically created by them. I decided to explore this question in other areas. For example, is it a violation of the code of conduct on Hinge if my profile was created by ChatGPT, even if everything on it is true? Is that catfishing? How will people respond? I planned to open a Hinge profile where every question was answered by ChatGPT, and then communicate with others using ChatGPT-generated responses.

Part 2: The Execution

I began by filling out my basic information. To be clear, this is not a catfishing project. I started with my name, age, height, ethnicity, and occupation. Then, it was time to upload photos. 

I asked Chat GPT, “I am setting up a Hinge profile. What kinds of pictures should I use?”

It’s response was, 

“When setting up a Hinge profile, it’s important to choose pictures that showcase your personality, interests, and lifestyle. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose clear, high-quality photos: Make sure your pictures are well-lit and in focus. Avoid blurry or pixelated photos.
  2. Use a variety of photos: Include a mix of selfies, full-body shots, and photos with friends or family. This will give potential matches a better sense of who you are and what you enjoy.
  3. Show your interests: If you love hiking, include a photo of yourself on a trail. If you enjoy cooking, include a picture of yourself in the kitchen. This will help attract people who share your interests.
  4. Smile and be yourself: Choose pictures where you’re smiling and happy. Avoid overly posed or edited photos, as they can come across as inauthentic.
  5. Avoid group photos: If you include photos with friends, make sure it’s clear which one you are. Avoid using group photos as your main profile picture.
  6. Show variety in your settings: Pictures can be taken in different locations like a park, restaurant, travel, etc.” 

After selecting my photos, I moved on to more personality-based questions. In order for ChatGPT to provide answers, it asked that I give it some details about myself, so here is the background summary that I provided: “I am an English Literature major. I like art, music, movies, and reading. I am a 19-year-old girl.”

Question 1: What is your typical Sunday?

My typical Sunday usually involves sleeping in a bit, enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, catching up on some reading, going for a walk or bike ride, visiting museums or art galleries, and spending time with friends.

Question 2: What is dating you like?

Dating me is like exploring culture and the arts. We can have conversations about literature, visit museums or galleries, attend concerts, watch movies, and share our thoughts on different forms of art. I appreciate humor, and I’m always open to trying new things.

Question 3: What is the way to win you over?

The way to win me over is through thoughtful conversations about shared interests, a sense of humor, and a positive outlook on life.

Question 4: What does your dream home include?

“My dream home would include a cozy reading nook, a space for displaying art, a music-listening area, and a home theater for watching movies. It would also have plenty of natural light and comfortable furniture to relax in.”

And my profile was complete! I proceeded to use up all my Hinge likes on the first few profiles shown to me.

*All names have been changed

Subject #1: David

I was prompted to send a message to the first profile I had “liked”: David. So, I asked ChatGPT what to say using his interests displayed on his profile: “Give me a short and casual text to start a conversation on Hinge with David. His interests are anime, boxing, video games, and the gym.

ME (ChatGPT): Hey David, I noticed that you’re into anime, boxing, and video games. What’s your favorite anime or game right now?

DAVID: Whats up Amelia, that’s actually a good question I kinda just like all genres of video games so I don’t have a favorite to be honest with you but if we’re talking anime I’ve been watching anime for a hot minute and I gotta say one piece is up there, hunterxhunter, bleach, dragon ball (ofc) and black clover there’s a lot of other good ones. Do you watch anime or play any games yourself?

ME (ChatGPT): Wow, you’re a serious anime fan! I’ve only seen a few episodes of Dragon Ball, but it seems like a classic. As for games, I’m more of a casual player. Do you have any to recommend?

DAVID: Hmmmm, I mean it really depends on your interests, gta is always a classic but yea anime and video games is definitely more of my “nerdy” side if you wanna call it that lmao. What about you, what kind of books do you like to read?

ME (ChatGPT): I see! Well, I’m a big fan of classic literature, especially the works of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. I also enjoy contemporary fiction and memoirs. How about you? Do you have a favorite book or author?

DAVID: Honestly, I don’t read too often so I can’t say that I do but it’s something that I definitely want to get into. Any recommendations?

ME (ChatGPT): Sure, if you’re interested in getting into reading, I would recommend starting with something that aligns with your interests. For example, if you like sci-fi or fantasy, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams or the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein could be good options.

At this point, David ghosted me. I thought about what could have sent him over the edge. Was it something authentic, like the interest in reading? Or something fabricated, like the notion that I would actually recommend “The Lord of the Rings” over a Hinge DM?

Subject #2: Harrison

This time, Harrison reached out to me first.

HARRISON: Wow you have a really nice smile:)

ME (ChatGPT): Thank you! You’re pretty easy on the eyes yourself:) How’s your week been going?

HARRISON: My week just got better now that I matched with you. Honestly I don’t really say this a lot but I didn’t scroll through your profile at all I saw the first picture and was hooked. But now that I looked through the profile I gotta say I think we will get along very well lol

ME (ChatGPT): Thanks for the compliment, Harrison! You made me smile:) I’m glad you think we’ll get along. What do you like to do for fun?

HARRISON: Well I love to cook, work out, play guitar, sing, read, watch movies and go bowling and/or mini golf. I’ve always wanted to go to a few art galleries but nobody in my friend group wants to go.

This is where it gets messy. ChatGPT wanted me to respond, “You have some really cool hobbies! I love cooking too and have been trying to up my game in the kitchen lately. I’m also a fan of working out and reading. As for art galleries, I’m always down to check out some new exhibits. Maybe we could plan a little gallery hop together sometime?”

Needless to say, I was not interested in meeting up with Harrison. I decided that this is where the charade ends. I sent Harrison a message that I actually wrote myself: 

“I have a confession…ChatGPT actually wrote all of my responses. I am working on an article for school to see what happens if ChatGPT made my online dating profile using my real photos and interests. All participants will be given aliases for the actual piece, so your name/information will not appear anywhere. I would love to ask you a few (real) questions about this experience to use in my article, if that is something you would be willing to consider.”

His response? “…you gotta be kidding me.” Not sure what I was expecting. So, I responded. “…Is that a no to the questions?” After approximately three minutes of disappearing and reappearing text bubbles, he responded: “Well that depends. Are you on this app to actually date people or just for an article?”

Out of fear of being banned from the app, which I probably deserved, I decided to ghost poor Harrison. 

Subject #3: Brice

Brice also reached out to me first. 

BRICE: Amelia you have a cute smile babe

ME (ChatGPT): Thanks, Brice! You’re pretty charming yourself:) What do you like to do in your free time?

BRICE: I like to go hiking, raving/concerts with my friends. I love going on drives or staying in and watching a movie. I admire art in all forums. What are you ambitious about in life?

ME (ChatGPT): It sounds like we have some similar interests! I love hiking too, and going to concerts with friends is always a good time. I’m a big fan of art too, especially contemporary art. As for my ambitions, I’m really passionate about my career in marketing and always striving to learn more and advance in my field. How about you?

BRICE: I like that you are passionate about your career. Regarding marketing, having social skills is very important. I love talking and meeting new people. I own my own business in event spaces and I’m also a software engineer. I love building things (with code). What’s your snap? I’m free tomorrow night let’s go on a date; walk around cap hill and watch a movie at mine. 

For the same reason I had for coming clean to Harrison, I did the same to Brice. I sent the same confession statement and explanation. Brice clearly did not want to answer questions. It took him about two hours to unmatch and report me. After a full 24 hours of AI-Hinge dating, I was banned from the app. Apparently contacting others with AI-generated responses is a violation of their code of conduct (even though they used their own AI technology to build the app in the first place…but whatever.)

Part 3: Reflections

Now, I know that I wasn’t actually catfishing these people. I used my own photos, and I was the one pressing send on every message. And at first, I was surprised that anyone was even bothered by my confession. I made it clear that I was a real person — what was the problem? But if I or anyone I know had been the one to receive that message on a dating app, I would probably feel like my time had been wasted and that I had been used a little bit, which to be fair, these people were. If I were some of my more direct friends, I would be worried about the documentation of my words. Behind a screen, people are much more likely to say things they wouldn’t even consider saying in real life.


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