The True Love Tinder Robot will “find you love, guaranteed.”
Are you an active user of popular social media dating apps? Have you made some poor decisions lately? Well, fear no more. Nicole He, a graduate student at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, has developed a robot that reads your body’s reaction as you browse through Tinder profiles, and then swipes right or left based on your skin’s response. In fact, she promises the bot will “find you love, guaranteed” merely by reading the change in your galvanic skin response over a period of time. (Meaning, how sweaty your palms get.)
As simple as today’s sites make finding a potential suitor, if contemplating between age, location and looks still requires too much thought, the True Love Tinder Robot can be your perfect wingman. The system itself is powered by an Arduino, and includes a pair of servos to move the hand, some LEDs, a text-to-speech module, a bunch of wires, a speaker and a couple of sheets of metal that act as a skin sensor. There is also an indentation for your palms.
With Tinder open, you put your smartphone down in from of the rubber hand. Once you’ve placed your hands down on the sensors, a robotic voice (inspired by the villain GlaDOS from Portal 2) guides you through the process and questions your feelings. As you are looking at each profile, the True Love Tinder Robot will read your true heart’s desire through the sensors and decide whether or not you are a good match with that person based on how your body reacts.
For instance, it’ll ask things such as “Do you see yourself spending the rest of your life with this person?” If it determines that you’re attracted to that person, it will swipe right. If not, it will swipe left. Throughout the process, it will make commentary on your involuntary decisions. Although galvanic skin response may not be the most precise measurement, it is often used by Scientologists for spiritual auditing and by law enforcement as part of polygraph tests.
The first prototype of the bot actually attempted to incorporate facial recognition, but was later swapped out for galvanic skin response. The idea behind GSR is pretty straightforward: when you see or experience something stimulating, your skin reacts appropriately by creating an electrodermal response. As your skin gets a little wetter, it becomes more conductive to electricity. GSR then measures that physiological feedback through skin conduction.
“In a time when it’s very normal for couples to meet online, we trust that algorithms on dating sites can find us suitable partners. Simultaneously, we use consumer biometric devices to tell us what’s going on with our bodies and what we should do to be healthy and happy. Maybe it’s not a stretch to consider what happens when we combine these things,” He explains.
The premise is that a computer may actually know you better than you know yourself, so why not let it pick you a date? While chances are the installation may not choose your future hubby or wifey, it’s still a pretty nifty project nevertheless.
“I want this project to be sort of amusing, kind of creepy and slightly embarrassing. I want the user to feel a tension between the robot assuring you that it knows best and not being sure whether or not to trust it. I want the user to question whether or not we should let a computer make intimate decisions for us,” He writes.
He has provided a detailed overview of the project and has made it entirely open source with all of its code available on GitHub.