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Are you sure a human wrote that love letter? Valentine’s Day in the age of ChatGPT

A new poll from McAfee suggests that AI-assisted missives could quickly change the nature of romantic courtship.

Are you sure a human wrote that love letter? Valentine’s Day in the age of ChatGPT
[Source photo: Getty Images]

It seems like every morning another report indicates that ChatGPT is going to kill something—jobs, SEO, copywriting, Google, creativity. Now we can add romance to the list of its potential victims.

That’s according to new research from McAfee, released one week ahead of Valentine’s Day. McAfee polled over 5,100 individuals and asked them a series of questions about their current romantic situation and their romantic forms of communication. It dove especially deep into questions surrounding the use of AI tools like ChatGPT to augment that communication.

The results showed that 42% of U.S. men plan to use AI to write a Valentine’s note this year, compared to fewer than one-fifth of women. That’s despite 50% of all U.S. respondents saying they agree or strongly agree with the statement “I would be hurt or offended if I found out my Valentine’s message was written by a machine / Artificial Intelligence.”

Yet McAfee’s research shows that most people wouldn’t even be able to tell if a Valentine’s Day letter was written by ChatGPT or not. When shown a ChatGPT-written love letter, 39% of respondents said it was “obvious a person wrote this.” Another 37% said they had no way to tell. Only 24% got it right that the letter was written by ChatGPT.

McAfee also asked respondents to say which of two short love poems they found more romantic—one written by E. E. Cummings or one written by ChatGPT in the style of E. E. Cummings. ChatGPT’s poem won by a landslide, with 67% of U.S. respondents saying it was more romantic.

Perhaps what’s most interesting is the reasoning behind why someone would choose to use ChatGPT to write a personalized Valentine’s card to their love interest:

32% said the AI-written letter would make them feel more confident.

24% said they wouldn’t know what to say and don’t know what their partner wants to hear.

20% said it’s an efficiency thing since they are short on time.

10% of scoundrels said, “I don’t believe my love interest or partner would know and it would be quick and easy.”

What can you say? That’s love in the 21st century, apparently.

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Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com More

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