Match Group is making progress with AI and has hired a former Zynga employee to head its AI-focused team

The maker of popular dating applications like Tinder and OkCupid, Match Group, is taking its partnership with AI very seriously.

After experimenting with certain AI-powered Tinder features, Match Group is moving things further by hiring Mark Kantor, a former Zynga head of growth, as vice president of innovation. A small group of engineers and designers under the direction of Kantor, who has co-founded firms including Yellowbrick and Graffiti, will work on integrating cutting-edge technologies into Match Group’s apps.

“Harnessing our emerging generative AI solutions will be one key focus area, as we explore ways to make it easier for users to engage with dating apps, provide tools to help users showcase their individuality, and further enhance the safety and accessibility of our apps,” wrote CTO Will Wu in an internal memo that was made available to TechCrunch. The nickname given to Kantor’s team by Match Group is ASL, an acronym for “Art x Science Lab” and a play on the old internet pick-up line “ASL?” (age, sex, location).

Match has already started developing a few AI technologies. Tinder recently said that it would trial an AI photo selection feature that searches through users’ photo albums to choose the images that will perform the best on the app. At a Reuters event last month, Tinder CPO Mark Van Ryswyk made a suggestion that users may create their dating bios using generative AI. This suggestion may sound disgusting, but some people seem to be like it as seen by the fact that individuals are writing wedding vows on ChatGPT.

For customers who desire the most authentic online dating experiences imaginable, the thought of AI-powered dating may be unsettling. However, Match Group is making an effort to prevent its inventions from becoming overly phony.

On Match Group’s most recent earnings call, CEO Bernard Kim remarked, “It’s critical that our features and tools improve trust, authenticity, and respect and, ultimately, lead to better matches and dates in real life.” “By the end of the year, we expect to have launched a number of initiatives that will use generative AI to eliminate awkwardness, make dating more rewarding, and surprise and delight users, all in a way that focuses on authenticity and maintaining the highest ethical and privacy standards.”

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