The Teaser AI dating app was dropped last week after only three months on the market because customers were confused by its features–like, really confused.
Launched in Australia, Teaser AI’s CEO told The Advertiser that platform members simply could not grasp how the whole thing worked. The platform–rolled out pretty quietly in June–leveraged AI to offer users their own personal artificial intelligence chatbot that could respond to questions posed by potential matches.
That feature, however, took a bit of getting used to for most people, and according to Teaser AI CEO and New York resident Daniel Liss’s interview with The Australian, some people just didn’t know the difference between what was real and what was AI.
“People just didn’t understand who was who,” Liss said. “So it wasn’t that they were necessarily uncomfortable talking to someone else’s AI, but it was unclear to them.”
According to Liss, some users were “uncomfortable” with the idea of artificial intelligence representing them to randos on a dating app.
“Our big takeaway, honestly, was that people were uncomfortable with the notion of the AI representing themselves,” he said. “The chorus was pretty deafening. They were expecting the AI to be helping them as a third party – almost as a coach, rather than as an extension of themselves.”
The Teaser AI dating app has already been yanked from app stores, and Liss and its developers will shift their focus.
“There’s a famous saying that if you’re not embarrassed about what you’ve shipped, you’re not shipping fast enough. And the only way to learn is to get it in the hands of users,” he said.
“One great indicator of the health of an app is retention. Given our experience on Dispo and seeing what a successful app looks like, the retention numbers never reached the point for Teaser, so it was time.”
The company’s debut app was Dispo, a US-based photo-sharing network. In response to consumer demand, Liss launched a new dating app that includes an artificial intelligence (AI) dating coach.
The Teaser AI dating app has rebranded as Mila, which will ask the user increasingly in-depth questions as it gets to know them–the system then calculates a compatibility score to compare with that of other users.
When asked about security, Liss explained that Mila is more about learning about a person’s drive and spontaneity. He explained, “In our case, you’re not sharing your deepest, darkest secrets; you’re saying what you’re here for.”
For example, if you told Mila that one of your most memorable dates was picnicking on Bondi Beach, “she” can ask more about your water-related activities and other interests.
“Obviously that example that I just made up is not the most powerful machine learning deduction. But it’s pretty magical when Mila listens to you and the question you’re asking, and interprets what you’re active and you want something romantic and something more serious,” he said.
Liss added that most people “grew up on their devices, so the idea of their phone helping them with everything is not strange to them at all.” This includes the concept of AI helping someone find a romantic partner. “In some ways, it’s even less embarrassing to them to admit that they want help with (dating),” he said.