AI personas are the future of dating, Bumble founder says. Many aren't buying.

The future of dating could be filled with digital, artificial intelligence-powered personas setting each other up, according to the founder of a popular dating app.

Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, speaking Thursday at the Bloomberg Tech Summit in San Francisco, said that her company is considering how AI can assist and empower women in their search for connection.

One particular use of AI that Herd mentioned has gained traction online — although not everyone liked the idea. Herd proposed a scenario in which singles could use AI dating concierges as stand-ins for themselves when reaching out to prospective partners online.

“There is a world where your dating concierge could go and date for you with other dating concierge … and then you don’t have to talk to 600 people,” she said during the summit.

AI-powered dating assistants have gotten more attention recently, such as profile enhancers like YourMove.AI or simulated chatbots like Volar. The rise of generative AI that can learn to mimic particular people has led to plenty of speculation around how it could be used in the romantic arena — particularly as some people have growing disillusioned with and given up on dating apps.

There’s some healthy skepticisim over whether AI is the answer. A clip of Herd at the Bloomberg Summit gained over 10 million views on X, where people expressed uneasiness with the idea of an AI-based dating scene. Some compared it to episodes of “Black Mirror,” a Netflix series that explores dystopian uses of technology.

Others felt like the use of AI in dating would exacerbate the isolation and loneliness that people have been feeling in recent years.

Herd said that she wants to use AI to teach people how to date better and “create more healthy and equitable relationships.” She suggested AI dating concierges can help people unpack their dating concerns and give tips for communicating with new matches.

A Bumble spokesperson reiterated this sentiment in an email to NBC News. The spokesperson said the company can “see a future where AI can continue to foster” positive relationships.

“Bumble is a place to make safe, kind and authentic connections, helping people to meet online, to then take the connection offline,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also said that Bumble has incorporated several AI-powered features into the app, including its “For You” match recommendation page, its spam profile detector and its lewd image blocker.

Herd also shared insight on the direction Bumble is heading following its recent rebrand.

“We will not be a dating app in a few years,” she said. “Dating will be a component, but we will be a true human connection platform. This is where you will meet anyone you want to meet — a hiking buddy, a mahjong buddy, whatever you’re looking for.”

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