Talk about modern romance. Veterans of the online-dating scene have yet to see anything like this: a robot that reads your body’s responses to potential matches and swipes through Tinder for you.
The True Love Tinder Robot is the design of Nicole He, a graduate student at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. The robot reads your galvanic skin response (how much your palms are sweating) to judge your automatic reaction to the person on the screen. It then swipes left or right using a robotic hand. In other words, the robot is reading your “true heart’s desire” through your body's involuntary behaviors, taking conscious decision-making completely out of the equation. The robot also provides commentary (in a creepy robot voice, natch), saying things like, “Judge this person,” and “I can read your feelings.” On her website, He says she was inspired by our growing reliance on algorithms on dating sites, as well as biometric devices like pedometers that “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,” she writes. The robot is more a commentary on our modern, technology-saturated world than an actual invention any of us will be using in the near future. But it’s not hard to imagine a future in which our online-dating world could combine with our Fitbits or heart-rate monitors. If you want to try out He's Love Robot yourself, you’ll have to visit NYU’s ITP Winter Show to give it a whirl. Not in New York (or not feeling 100% comfortable with the whole idea)? Check out the video of the True Love Tinder Robot in action, from the safety of your desk. We don't blame you for avoiding the real thing — that disembodied hand is incredibly creepy.