Distributed Future 5 - love and dating.

[00:00:00] Vim: I am Vimla
Tim: and I'm Tim
Vim: and today we're going to be talkin about the future of love and relationships. So I think it's really interesting and someone who um has been single recently and after a long time after a long time relationship entering the world of dating and being dependent on online ways of meeting someone to think about how much that's changed in recent years.
Um, so it's much more likely for people to meet online now than offline.
Tim: What do you mean by meet? I mean that's kind of first Contact rather than um, but can you be I suppose what I'm trying to say is how can you be sure that somebody is is somebody who want to have a relationship with.
Vim: Yeah,
Tim: I mean by typing or looking what how does it work?
Vim: Yeah, that's true. So, I guess [00:01:00] typically you would have a profile. Um, that describes who you are what you're looking for based on the profile on the look you would decide whether to message someone and that shall first point of contact but what's happened is that's become part of dating so that kind of continual conversation over text or. whatever the media might be is that almost the predating dating and then you meet them in person,
Tim: right? Okay, so it's a sort of kind of like an introduction phase but how
Vim: yeah,
Tim: like, how do you know what it is you're looking for do you, I mean, I don't think I don't think any of the people I went out with people I was looking for.
They just sort of stumbled into range. You know, I mean, it's not
Vim: that's the thing about change the way we think about who you want to date and who want to be with [00:02:00] though. There's a lot more pressure now to know where as I think in the past you it was who you met and whether you got on whereas now you're expected to kind of have a type.
know, what kind of things to look out for on a profile what to avoid? Um and to know what kind of like Aesthetics you're attracted to as well, which is really interesting. Yeah, it's really interesting because so much is dependent on like that physical environment that you can't really filter attraction down to just messaging in my opinion.
Tim: I mean, I think people do that successfully. I mean, I know people who've I think my first example of this was a friend of mine who had a um, they met on I guess it must have been an IM [00:03:00] probably AOL or something aim. Um,
Vim: yeah
Tim: and like he was in he's an American he was an American Soldier. I didn't think he is now, I think he's quit.
But um, and she was you know last in Manchester and they just happened to me and I don't even know what Forum they met on and they kind of messaged incessantly for weeks and weeks and weeks. And then finally they met somewhere I don't even know where physically but like, you know months into the relationship they actually physically met and they got married and you know a whole thing.
Vim: yeah,
Tim: so it does it can work but I kind of find that. Personally, I find it really difficult to like understand how it could work because you know, it's much more about I suppose you just you meet people and then once you've met them, you know that it's worked on not. But yeah, I feel like that for me that sort of always been fairly [00:04:00] earlier on in the process not months in or tens of thousands of messages in which like seems to be the way that people work these days which I.
I can't understand it myself, but I don't know anyway find it odd.
Vim: I think it's the way we communicate now is change. So it is instant and you there's a new degree of that like expectations certainty around things so that like things have evolved so much that. It almost becomes a part of the game to avoid reading a message but reading a message so that the person that has sent it can't see that you read it and like all of these crazy things that are really new.
Tim: I'm not sure they are. I mean like there was all this stuff. With like, you know, how long after you've met a girl before you [00:05:00] ring her back? All of that stuff like that was you know, we that's been around. Well since telephones were affordable.
Vim: Yeah,
Tim: and I'm like all of that that sort of measure of like how seriously people and the pacing I mean sure knowledge is different and like the exact details are different but I think that establishing what the power relationship is and who's more serious and whatever.
Still a fundamental thing. It's just like the way you do it given the technology is different.
Vim: Yeah. Yeah and technology is having a huge impact on dating like it's become gamified in a lot of senses and. It's really interesting as well. But um technology that has been you was created for dating is now being used just to meet people so my friend, um, went traveling and used a popular dating app just to be [00:06:00] friends, but to meet people to go out for dinner to meet like just new people she was there for a year and didn't know another way of doing it.
And I thought that was really interesting that technology in all forms. Not just dating ups but opens up that that possibility is build relationships and that way
Tim: ya know anything that's fascinating that the ability to find people who at least you have something in common to start talking about now, you may end up finding like the rest of the things they think are interesting boring and therefore that conversation may disappear, but but the ability to kind of find people in a.
In a community or as you say in a new city, um, I think he's genuinely that is new. Um, you know, it was always done I think by introductions before it was always, you know, oh, well, I'll take you to a party and you'll and I'll introduce you to a few people and and then it was kind of up to you to try and dig in a bit.
Um, [00:07:00] yeah. That is different. And I think the other thing that's different is distance like
Vim: yeah,
Tim: it's possible to maintain a relationship over a distance in a way that used to be really difficult.
Vim: Yeah, absolutely. And I think um, the way people view relationships now was very different because of technology.
So there are so many different forms of. Relationship that did exist in the past but a much more talked about now, so like casual relationships or being more serious with someone else or like loads and loads of different types.
Tim: Yeah. I'm not sure that technology really again. I think those are all things that you like historically they've been phases when those things happen, but it's always been like.
too expensive to [00:08:00] do for you know work typically for women, but but in general, um, but like people's you know, if you read the sort of Bloom reset they were constantly like being friends or not friends and you know moving in and out of relationships with each other because they could afford to frankly, you know, it was a luxury thing that they could afford to do and it was socially acceptable in that group.
I don't think that's I think what is is different is that you can find people who you might struggle to find otherwise and I think that yeah, I did you say
Vim: yeah, absolutely and I think the label of it is more common now, so like labeling yourself or someone else. I only want to date casually or not looking for something serious or looking for something serious.
That's more nuanced. Now [00:09:00] again, it goes back to what I was saying earlier. There's a big expectation the person on the app to know what they're looking for.
Tim: I like I say I would think I mean I you know, I'm not in that position. So I don't know but I think I imagine that would be very difficult to to kind of work out. what it is you're looking for. I mean, you know until you met them whether they are the one
Vim: look that's the conundrum that really is
Tim: what happens if you are worong, if you go into relationship saying I you know, uh, I'm not looking for anything serious, and actually it turns out they are the one. Then you've lied on your profiles.
Vim: Well, no, but then you've got the other because you might think they're the one but they might not think you are. So you then got to have that conversation of I like you more than you like me. What does that mean for us? Where does this [00:10:00] go? It's really intersting the Dynamics for the interesting because you go into that very first day that very first me.
Tim: Um, so uh, we were talkin about the conversation or you were talkin about the conversation and what happens if like. How do you align your expectations with with with theirs or how do they line their expectation with yours and how difficult that is and I think I was about to say that that's that's not new except that in the past.
Everybody's expectations were that you were going to end up getting married that was like, you know the default endpoint.
Vim: Yeah. Yeah. That's definitely not the end point anymore.
Tim: What is the end and like
Vim: I [00:11:00] don't I don't know if there is one like its it can be anything or nothing. It's kind of depends on how things go and what happens.
Tim: Yeah. I mean, I think again that's not new. I think we just in the luxury position of being able to do that. I mean, I think a lot of the things that we what technology is enabling. I think that. People well, frankly people who are rich enough and in the right environment would have done anyway, like I don't think haven't heard anything that's like fundamentally changed human nature.
It's just about enabled things that people would have liked to have done but maybe might not have got away with uh,
Vim: yeah,
Tim: you know, I think that's quite you know, and I know people who. Ben I mean like relationships with non-traditional relationship the unite for [00:12:00] example people who share Flats in a house and have done 40 years, right?
Vim: Yeah,
Tim: they're not but you know, they have the flat above each other and like they've been you know, that's the relationship that's how the relationships built and that's like it's just. Slightly more distance than and more Independence than a traditional married couple, but very much, you know the stable relationship and and that's who they are.
And I think that's sort of that wouldn't have been socially acceptable kind of previously, but people would have done it. They got been given the chance I think
Vim: yeah, absolutely.
Tim: It's about enabling think the difference is about enabling things that kind of people would have liked to have done and probably couldn't have got away with so I was saying I think it's just it's about what [00:13:00] people would have maybe like to have done but now and now can and they can find the other people who as you saying that like whose expectations to match.
Um, so where's this going to go in the future?
Vim: Well, that's really interesting. I think um, like the industry of technology and data is continually evolving to become more and more Niche. So there are hundreds and hundreds of different websites at forums to meet people that have the same or similar interest whatever they might be.
Um, and as technology is learning more about us in the way we act there's more matching based on that which is really interesting. So it takes the human element out of um, finding that spark or like that attraction and boiling it down to an algorithm So based on [00:14:00] whatever set of um, Whatever the code might say, it's kind of saying you should in theory be the perfect match, which is really interesting.
Tim: That sounds like an absolute disaster for natural selection.
Vim: Yeah. Yeah, but there's also the the added um, like disaster of robots and AI . And whether we need to start thinking about the reality of relation robot relations, and whether how far how far is that gonna go because um, a lot of apps at the moment a filled with bots that just kind of talk to people all the time.
So I guess there's the real possibility of people falling in love with a bot .
Tim: Yeah, I mean, I have a friend who um [00:15:00] who had this she ran a whole kind of publicity campaign basically around the idea that she was gonna go to marry her laptop because it's more reliable than her boyfriend. Um,
Vim: yeah,
Tim: and it would always listen to her and it did what she wanted and she spent more time with it anyway, so um and and like that although it was funny.
There was a sort of element of like accuracy in that in the you know, we are spending a lot of time with technology, that is design to please us and designed to be good company for us. So I mean, I understand that aspect, but I don't. I don't believe that it will fill the like so I think it's a temporary thing.
Right? I think there's a temporary thing in which we can build bots that I you know, meet your expectations until they become sufficiently intelligent in which [00:16:00] at which point they stop being like Albert's and they start being their own thing. And the idea that that like if you look at the sort of Science Fiction in this area Most of It kind of indicates that once the AI is get, call it sentient, they might hang out with him, but they're certainly not going to fall in love with them because they'll have better things to do.
So like even if it happens, it's purely temporary and I don't think, the other option is you go down the kind of the slave root of like Westworld or whatever where you're building robots, they're actually just designed to fall in love with you or time to fall in love with and I don't see that as a tenable situation for anybody long-term.
I mean, maybe I'm wrong but like that's feels again like a very temporary phase which wouldn't last. Um, I mean in evolutionary terms. Anyway.
Vim: Yeah,
[00:17:00] Tim: but I think the bot stuff is actually really interesting. I mean you look at. There's a love to get uh, get them on there's a bunch of people who doing bot I think it's a Twitter bot. I am but I can't remember which is um, it's basically the thing that you talk to you when you wake up in the middle of the night feeling feeling gloomy and you but you don't want to like you don't want to ring up your friend.
Vim: yeah
Tim: talk to it and it's positive its relentlessly positive about. Yeah, but you're doing fine deal with this.
Vim: Yeah, there's loads of those that exist and I guess it's that thing about if we can rely like that's a relationship. That's a that's a relationship with the robot that you need to feel better.
Tim: Right?
Vim: I think there's not that much further. Between like between that and falling in love [00:18:00] with the same piece of code, if you become reliant on and depend on it for that positive emotion. What's really the difference? Why would you then seek out anything else? I also think technology has in some cases made us more isolated like you are more likely to message than cool or you know, it's changed the way we communicate in lots of different ways and I because of that isolating factor as well. I think we're more likely to form a positive relationship with a piece of technology.
Tim: Yeah, but I think in the end, it's still we're still chemical animals.
I think in the end the chemistry always wins, I mean even if you don't believe in in souls or love you know any of those kind of metaphysical things I think in we are still chemical beings [00:19:00] and and you know being in the room with the right person feels quantifiably different from like not and I don't think that don't think that ever.
I don't see how that's going to get replaced like the bots can like fill the void but I don't think they're I don't think they'll replace that until we get changed as humans till we start becoming less, uh less chemistry and more electronics and then I think perhaps then but for the moment, I think the you know, the chemistry wins,
Vim: yeah.
I think I disagree. I think I think because it's a chemical reaction that happens in our body like the endorphins are released and that and what I don't know enough about the chemicals or the hormones, but I think you I think that will be replicated with [00:20:00] non Human Relationships. I think we'll get the same release from something else.
Tim: I I don't know you may be right. I think it's like yeah, I suspected harder than it looks. Um, yeah, I mean people won't achieve it or do it I suppose.
Um, yeah tricky that one but I think it's that you'd like I don't think we do. And then we understand neurochemistry enough or pheromones or any of that stuff enough yet to to get it right. Um, you know, there's like there's a there's a really nice Emma Donoghue book and there's a really nice quote in it, which is like this girl.
She doesn't [00:21:00] realize it when she's busy falling in love and she hasn't twigged yet and neither has the person she's falling in love with. Um, but she says "the room feels warmer with you in it", which is just like it's about yeah, like they're already kind of falling that way but it's not to do with that for me.
That's that's about the chemistry and the like, you know, anyway, that's my thesis on that.
Vim: Well, I think that leads nicely onto uh the conversation I had with John. The founder Bristlr and M14 industries and both of which are dating apps and Technologies help connect people. Yeah. It's a great conversation.
Tim: I've listened to it and and I think exam fantastic addition to the podcast. So we'll we'll let you hear that now.
Vim: Um, so I'm Vim and I'm here today with [00:22:00] John to talk about the future of love and dating.
John: Yes, I am John, John Kershaw. Uh, I'm the founder of a couple of companies in the dating and sort of social Industries.
One of which is called Bristlr, which is the Tinder for people who like stroking beards. I also have a more serious company called M14 Industries, which lets anyone in the world who wants their own sort of social or dating app?
Vim: You say that this is not that serious but you've had people get married through it and have babies there.
So that seems pretty serious to me.
John: Yeah. Well, so I don't mean serious something. It's not impacted people live in the most major way you could. Short of like I know like death but it's also like Bristlr is is fun as a product. Like we're not we're not building a [00:23:00] serious Financial thing. We're genuinely just thought connecting people who sort of share a few like common traits and it's I think it's kind of nice.
Um and fairly wholesome and it's not taken particularly seriously by sort of important business types. And I think that's why I described it sort of more lightheartedly.
Vim: Yeah, definitely. Um, so how do you think love and dating have chain has changed in recent years?
John: Well, I mean from my perspective which is very much the perspective of.
Like from the technology side of things I think Tech has helped wonderfully from. Like the very early days of computer matchmaking where people used to um Post in like essentially like Punch Cards that's like here is me and they'd put it through one of those vintage old computers and post to back and list of of people that it was going to matchmake you with [00:24:00] to sort of match.com Launching in the 90s and really riding the wave of like look we can do this faster online then yeah, and then sort of tender comes along and it's like.
Oh, hey now you can do it even faster and we can do smart things with technology to make it an even better and more efficient system. And how much of that has changed how people date and how much that has just been, you know response to how people date I've no idea but I think that they definitely correlate and you can learn a lot from one a lot about one from the other.
Um, so I think if we assume that the uh, something like tinder has just sort of surfaced what generally happens, um, like whether tinder exists or not, then I think we're starting to see a lot more people getting more comfortable with the idea of of more types of [00:25:00] relationships with more types of people.
So instead of just having your colleagues friends family and like partner you now have all kinds of different friends different colleagues different like even extended families, um, and different kinds of dating. So I like I've used, um Tinder in the past when I've gone to a new city just to find people to go out for a meal with and it's lovely and I wouldn't be able to do that without the technology, but I probably would have.
I guess maybe tried. Yeah.
Vim: Yeah, that's really interesting India, right? There will be a lot of the benefits of Technology on on the world. What do you think some of the negative attributes are?
John: I I guess in the same way that the negative attributes. I guess. There's some of the extensions of the negative attribute you see in real life.
So like. Men unable to [00:26:00] handle how to interact with people in a coherent and or decent manner, um that is a reflection of behavior patterns side, um outside of dating and outside of Technology like you see in anywhere online where you've got like comment sections you just see the worst of people. So of course that is also translated online, but you also now have.
Technology adding sort of problems. Uh, so for example, if you are on a gay dating app in a country where that's a punishable offense, there's a real risk that if there's some kind of data leak you are in genuine trouble there because information about you the other people like deem inappropriate or whatever, um is sort of written down somewhere.
And so there's been cases when Ashley Madison had their data leaked. Yeah, um, like people have committed [00:27:00] suicide because they've been blackmailed because of that information leaking.
Vim: Yeah just for her listeners that don't know what actually went to some is would you mind giving a description.
John: Okay. So on the surface actually Madison says that it's a website that helps you have an affair in reality. It's most most sites that sound like that and come across this either like seedy or quote-unquote casual or what have you they're generally not actually to do with dating and then more just very clever mechanisms for getting credit card information from.
Uh, I guess lonely men, um or men who want the excitement of our maybe I'll have an affair and then don't um, and then I can just sort of bill recurrently. So I think actually in Ashley Madison leak almost no women were using the system it was it was all just men and the system just kept kind of enticing [00:28:00] men along to fill in the details and and sort of have that I guess exciting spark. Yeah, I shouldn't be so cynical of these sites. Like I mean, I'm gonna get in trouble but I the way the dating industry works is so very different to how I think people assume it works that make sense.
Vim: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that that's something that we touched about previous conversations where I was saying how my assumption was.
Um, The dating industry doesn't want to do with self out of a job by building relationships between people say something like tinder where it's really fast and very much about Aesthetics rather than um, like content to me. Does that job of it gets people to meet each other but you're still on that system.
Um, so yeah, it was really interesting to hear your thoughts. That's not what it's like at all.
John: Yeah, so a lot of one of the most common [00:29:00] misconceptions is that if a dating app were to be very successful everyone on the app would leave and they would go bust. Um, the reality is that the vast majority of people stop using a dating app because they're bored of it or something else came along or they didn't have any success and then they just kind of get bored and wander off just like every single app on your phone.
so, um like so the actual numbers for people who leave your service because they found a match probably single digit percentages. If you if you manage to get like 30 percent of your users to actually pair off it would be a miracle working app and you would be flooded with with money. Um, So it's actually much more about how do we actually provide better and better value and a decent [00:30:00] service more so than oh, no, what if we're too good?
Vim: Yeah. Yeah. And what do you think? How do you think technology is gonna impact love and relationships in the future?
John: I think it's gonna make I need to Super broad question, but I think it's gonna it's gonna facilitate people having. A wider range of relationships possible. So as an example long-distance relationships twenty years ago, uh, almost incomparable to a long-distance relationship now.
Yeah. Um, so if you were dating someone and let say I'm in Manchester they are in New York and it's 20 years ago. We probably got instant messenger and like we can send each other letters and booking flights in the Nightmare and the. Inflight entertainment is hellish endings there and everything's terrible and it's just not really going to work you can I guess like one of the best things you [00:31:00] can do is sort of have a penpal who you meet up with once a year.
Um, and obviously there's way you can make it work, but it's super super difficult. Whereas now even though you still have that distance factor, which isn't going to go away, but you can you can chat with your like partner. 24 hours a day for free instantly you can see exactly what they're doing.
You can buy each other meals and Gifts you can uh, like fly to see each other in relative comfort for like not generally a prohibitively expensive amount. So it's still gonna cost you a lot of money, but it's not like 10 grand or some ludicrous amount. So it kind of it lets you. I guess it lowers the difficulty of a lot of different types of relationship, um, because technology kind of tends to allow communication to flow more [00:32:00] evenly.
Yeah in Faster.
Vim: Yeah, absolutely, but it said like that communication bitch really really interesting to me because and I think this is true relationships across the board, but there's now that kind of like instant. Pressure to reply to a relationship you're in and I'm really interested in the impact that had on the way we build relationships.
John: So interesting anecdote that you have just reminded me. I got a match on Bumble about three days ago. Yeah, and it just dawned on me that I did not reply to that message. So this is probably a good example of the kinds of modern relationships. Like it's being 48 hours. I mean, I basically could that it's done.
I forgot. I'm sorry. Um and that I guess that's a very new way of starting an ending relationship. All those kind of weird [00:33:00] communication games. I think some of the built-in apps like with Bumble you have to reply in 24 hours, right? Um, yeah. Sorry.
Vim: I find that really interesting like what it does to our psychology as humans.
Like it was gonna go that you the standard reply for a text message was like up to three days. It was kind of that was that's how long you would wait before you send a reminder. Where as now. If you on the instant messaging platforms and it's within the hour, otherwise, you start your well they are not interested then and
John: I think that big thing is I'm sorry.
Vim: No, no go.
John: I was gonna say the big thing for me. There is read receipt you asked anyone who is in the early stage of dating the effort people go to to avoid to try and read the message like when it pops up on your screen, but without opening it to try to so that [00:34:00] you will know what it said, but it doesn't look like you're ignoring them.
Vim: yeah,
John: there's lots of like it's definitely changing things how fundamentally that changes things. I'm not sure because that's probably just replacing previous Behavior. I don't know if it's necessarily changing. Like adding or change fundamentally changing relationships. I think a lot of that comes not necessarily from dating but just from a wider like everyone has access to Wikipedia.
So everyone knows everyone can look up what being queer is. Yeah and suddenly anyone in the world who have or anyone who has access and inclination and like motivation can suddenly be like. Oh this entire world Universe of different ways of living out there. That's kind of cool and then everyone can kind of goes off on their own little journey and the technology can [00:35:00] facilitate a lot of that.
So you have dating apps people who are polyamorous you have dating apps for people who like who aren't hetrosexual you have dating apps and social apps for for all kinds of different communities as people realize that you don't have to fall into this very sort of static model of what relationship looks like.
Yeah, like a lot of people are now sort of questioning whether is the relationship escalator right for me, so. I don't know if you come across this concept. I think it's wonderful. The relationship escalator is the sort of standard way that like Society thinks a relationship should happen. So you start dating after a few months.
You probably become monogamous. Then you get more serious than you meet each other's parents. Then you [00:36:00] get engaged and married then a few years later the kids and. One thing will always whatever you do. One thing always should like there's a pressure to move you along to the next step which you find people going.
I don't know if I should go for coffee with this person because I don't think he wants kids,
Vim: right? Yeah
John: and that on the surface seems completely rational, but then it's like well you could just go and have a coffee with this person. Yeah, but because we see a relationship is essentially pre. Pre like mapped out ahead of us.
Um, we kind of make weird decisions now based on some pretty big assumptions about the future.
Vim: Yeah, absolutely and not only that it takes um, it means you're forced into figuring out what you think. You want your life to be when you go for that coffee. So, you know, you might have no idea whether you want [00:37:00] kids or no idea whether you want to get married or not or any of those things.
You just want the coffee. The other person could be thinking about all of those things.
John: Yeah,
Vim: and I know I do you think the evolution of dating like has built that up? So you're not ever just like I think it's kind of created this icon to me. Super super fast and super super serious.
John: Yeah, I think that that's very true.
And almost all of that is is Media like find me a film that doesn't revolve around that. Yeah, and it's it's it's 99% of every film ever revolves around that or relationships as a reward or any of these other kind of tropes that. I guess a popular because people quite like having rules and well established Traditions like [00:38:00] I, I am always fascinated by the lengths people go to when they're taking to in order to play The Dating Game like do I tell them about this? Should I be honest about this? How many days should I wait for? I do this if we go out for a meal. Do we want it to be an evening one or a lunchtime one? What vibe my giving off?
Vim: Yes,
John: just an infinite number of rules. And I mean every magazine has just adds more of these rules of like our top five tips to get that reply in three and half days rather than four or something ridiculous like that and I think. One knife thing with that is people signed question all of these things.
Yeah, and especially younger people. Yeah, like I'm like 31. I'm not exactly like old but there is now there is now substantial number of people that I would say are both adults and not my generation and younger than [00:39:00] me.
Vim: Yeah
John: and which I think I think technically there Kensi. Um, which of course is like the coolest letter.
For like the coolest generation. Yep, bunch of wankers fantasy everything I get to live in the future. Anyway.
Vim: Um, well I think yeah there and I'd like to get your thoughts on is D think that's open to everyone but is that how inclusive is modern love relationships dating?
John: I would say it depends.
Uh in the sort of the bubble that I exist in which is the very Western sort of I guess very liberal to an extent very young and sort of anti-establishment kind of bubble. The there's a real effort to try to just make everything more inclusive and more inclusive and more inclusive. [00:40:00] Um, there's a very long way to go.
Vim: Yeah,
John: but in general people are getting better, um, like understanding where other people are coming from who have a unrelatable like aspect to themselves.
Vim: Yeah,
John: and people are sort of starting to get over thinking of it as that person's different. To me and I'm normal now people are starting to be like, oh, we're all different cool.
Let's figure out how we navigate the space as an example. Um people who are non-binary people who exist outside of the binary spectrum of gender
police car coming fast hang on a sec, . Look at me. How's the media training? I know you stop talkin when there's literally a siren going off.
Vim: Well done.
John: Thank you. Um, but I forgot my other thing and uh, oh, yeah non-binary people. [00:41:00] So you'll see people understanding, um, like non-binary. More and being a lot more inclusive to it. So instead of we're sort of society traditionally dictates that there are two genders and for the past few hundred years, um, normally Academia and activist circles and now more and more mainstream people like, um, I dont think that's right.
Can you check your working and people are like, oh, hang on it turns out that. Not actually particularly strictly true and people are able to share a lot of this information and other people are able to learn about all this stuff and it's just it's making a making the space more inclusive to people who are more in tune with who they are and who perhaps fall outside of of the kind of the middle of the mainstream.
[00:42:00] Vim: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely and do see that only um becoming more fluid in the future. Sorry bit of a leading question there.
John: But I mean, I think it would be hard not to because it's such a big educational component that it's kind of like the cats out the bag you can like in the same sense that like everyone.
I know knows that being gay is a thing that you could be and so suddenly people are like shit. I get it now that explains so much. That's me, where previously before before like when we were under like section 28. So when I was in school, like we just weren't taught the government decided that it would be immoral for me to learn.
That I might be queer or I might be trans or like it basically know you are you are a boy. You are a you will be a man. This is how this works. You will be monogamous and straight and blah, blah and [00:43:00] then section 28 goes away and everyone's like, oh, hang on a minute instead of seeing in black and white we can see in color and I think it'll be really difficult to kind of bottle that up and go back.
Because it's such a fundamental part of being a person. It's like someone's just come up to you and said hey, did you know that cheese exists? I can't go back from that. Like you are suddenly aware that this world of cheese and not just like Dairy cheese, like vegan cheese, which tastes kind of nice now like this this whole world is out there and suddenly it's like, oh cool. That's good. You can't really undo that. And so yes, I think I think it is just going to get more and more and more. Um, like as more people become comfortable talking about this kind of stuff and as more people I guess um, read up on like what does it mean to be?
Non-binary? Let's go and have a look on Wikipedia and then, you know you get on one of those Wikipedia holes and [00:44:00] suddenly you're fairly clued into uh, like queer Theory and gender Theory. Um, I think I think it's quite nice in a way because a lot of people who are queer not everyone by a long way but a lot of people are kind of know something that's not quite clicking.
And then as soon as you have a conversation with someone who like puts a word to the thing that you are feeling suddenly the door is opened for you to kind of step through and you can you can start to kind of figure out. Who you are?
Vim: Yeah and say how she felt about the kind of different apps or websites or like technology that's enabling all of this happen.
There's so much out there. How do you navigate which one's right for you?
John: Um, I mean, I throw pasta at the wall and see what sticks right to be [00:45:00] honest. But then also I because I work in this industry and I build apps. I have like every single app. I can find installed on my phone and I try to genuinely use it for like all kinds of stuff and I find some behavioral bit creepy and some apps that just rubbish and some apps work really really.
Well, I would say like there's no there's no cost or low caste to use pretty much every happened. Get a feel for it. Um, so if you're not sure which acts right for you just try them all and see what see what works. Yeah, obviously you have to put the effort in like something that we see is is like.
Some will upload a profile and it's a picture of something that's not even them and they've got no they don't bother uploading and bio and then they send us a complaint email going. I got no matches. It's like well, why would anyone match with you? You haven't done anything to Warrant that kind of response.
Yeah, I think in general there's a lot of. Interesting [00:46:00] stuff coming out dating industry, but the dating Industries typically about four or five years behind in technology just because there's no money in the industry.
Vim: Um, actually one. Um, I think really interesting that we've not really touched on yet is particularly when thinking about the future of relationships is artificial intelligence and bots
the impact that might have on dating let you see bots all the time in this thing. So happen.
John: Yeah, I mean so boxing dating. This is actually one of the areas where dating was ahead of the game like for a while almost every app out there had a bunch of fake accounts. Um that they would use to try to make their sites appear busier than they actually are.
I plan on making a dating app that lets you that let [00:47:00] both humans and um computers connect,
Vim: right
John: and it's very much a kind of Turing test. Um, A CD room, essentially you go on there and you have no idea who the bot who's the person and I think that would be great fun. Yeah,
Vim: um social experiment or
John: a social experiment and I've no idea what would happen.
Yeah, like would it end up being popular would people build bots would the bots end up dating like who what kind of structures or behaviors would come out of that? Um, and any of that actually important or meaningful in any way. Um, I mean, you couldn't you could make the argument that the be no difference if you were talkin to a really good Bot vs.
Talkin to someone on a dating app.
Vim: Yeah.
John: I mean, there's lots of dating apps out there where the other person is paid to talk to you. And so you've already [00:48:00] got dating apps out there where. One party is essentially paying for the other person to pretend to be into you.
Vim: Yeah,
John: and these are very common.
Um, like they advertise on social media all the time then not see underground. They're fairly open about how they work and people are perfectly happy with that. And so there's not that much difference between it being a person typing a sort of pre-made script at one side or a bot typing a more elaborate more personalized
yeah script and I think it depends what you want to get out of it will sort of determine whether or not like how you react to those things. Like if you would like to marry the person that you're talking to you're not going to have much luck there. But if you just want something. To like pass the time or just a casual friend to just chat to.
Yeah, then it works it appeases that parts of our part of our brain that just longings to um, [00:49:00] like have companionship. Um complete side point but some slightly related when you're talkin to a Google home or an Alexa. Do you say thank you afterwards.
Vim: Um, it depends. Sometimes I do sometimes
John: I don't if you don't you feel slightly guilty.
Vim: No,
John: okay, interesting interesting. Yeah, because some people do some people and I I find myself falling into that trap. I've asked lots of questions. I'll always be slightly more polite because I feel like I'm nagging even though it's a bar and it's because of all this stuff that just built in yeah from society, but some people.
Do not view them as sort of people in any way shape or form and don't have that kind of I guess empathy if it's not real.
Vim: Yeah. it still is, I think the interesting I read an article about [00:50:00] Alexa and how um the soon as they as soon as Amazon gave Alexa a gender they then had to give her all of the points of views and um like perspectives. So if you ask Alexa if she's a feminist she will say, yes, and then they had to kind of think about all of the ethics behind the um ways they were influencing people and their views as well. I'm really really interesting because obviously Their audience isn't always going to agree with the perspectives that they've given the bot.
But then they had this thing about it is our duty to spread the message we think is correct or you know, do we stay in partial as a company and I think that's really interesting when we think about um future relationships with robots if we're starting to build these things like what weight are we putting on it?
John: I think [00:51:00] that's very true. You made a generic dating app. And you got some bots in there probably wouldn't need that many bots the had conversations with men and you can Target specific demographics. You could Target very specific political beliefs in a very specific region and you could make those people using targeted advertising you could get a lot of those people to start using the app and you could get the app to start talking to them about.
Any number of different topics and you could do it. You can do that with today's technology.
Vim: Yeah.
John: Um, and so I think it's something that we need to be more aware of. I don't know if it's necessarily a problem. Um, but maybe I think that because I've been talking to a bot. That's like no no, don't worry, but problem is exactly what they would do.
Vim: Yeah, then it gets a little bit all [00:52:00] Inception e and meta
John: and then it's like well, I probably would have sex with a robot. So does it really matter fine? One of the most environmentally friendly things you can do is not have kids. So if I end up marrying a robot. So be it.
Vim: Do you think thats on the cards?
Do you think the future lay lies with human-robot relationships?
John: So I'm normally normally left here in this kind of topic because the kind of topic normally happens after like a I've drunk some Gin if like if you assume the the Consciousness is something that. Is essentially a byproduct of of the way our brains work.
Um, and if you think that that makes up what a person like the essence of a person is their Consciousness. Yeah. Um, let's just skip over the idea of the soul for now, it's small but Minor Detail, but [00:53:00] then if you follow that train of thought, um, then. You have to conclude that eventually, um a computer system that we build will have some kind of emergent Consciousness.
And if you have the political beliefs that the every person should be treated with respect and then perhaps every animals should be treated like cruelty-free at a bare minimum. Then it kind of extends that well, like if an animal have this level of cognitive ability and that is comparable to this computer.
Do we now have any kind of Rights or any kind of like is there anything in there because as soon as artificial intelligence becomes some kind of protected defined entity. We were kind of in trouble as a species but I don't think we're in [00:54:00] trouble in a way that we would mind necessarily it's kind of like a oh, no, I'm drowning in delicious cake, like part of me is like, oh no, I'll never get out of here alive in part of me is like, well, I'm I literally couldn't be happier.
So. Um, so I think I think to some extent with with AI. Either gonna be farcical the idea that I could ever be something you have a relationship with or the farcical the idea that it isn't. Um, I don't think we're gonna be in that middle ground Beyond 100 years, right? Um, I think in the near term we don't need to worry about that because essentially if you combine like the entire internet with every single device plugged in.
You'll probably up to like one human brain that's being put through a blender. Like that's the kind of cognitive ability that we've created as humankind.
Vim: Yep.
John: Um right now we just [00:55:00] need to worry about the kind of fake versions, which is like your Alexa your Google home. You're all those creepy Bots that Google keep coming out with um, that sort of mimic that behavior.
Um, and then I think it just comes down to personal preference. Like if you know that the person on the other end of that phone doesn't love you or um is a robot but you feel but it's a robot built to make you feel loved and to feel like you are loved. Is that a bad thing? I mean, I I think it just comes down to sort of personal choice.
But I think also the as a decision its kind of bigger than a person can ever have enough information to actually decide on right. Um, but but others say I'll just marry a robot. It'll be fine.
Vim: I think on that point quite a good teaser to leave people questioning, so does the future of Love [00:56:00] revolve around us and robot?
John: And what about two robots that love each other
Vim: or two robot that love each other. That's a whole another kettle
John: more than two robots. I guess. Why are we just dumping monogamy on these like brand new life-forms kind of monsters are we
Vim: and I guess as part of that final question will be what can we learn from ai about the ways we have relationships too
John: hmm.
Vim: Thanks, John. Thanks for your time today and I hope you uh, yeah, I'd like maybe we'll have a lot more about that
John: with me and my robot bride.