Teaching a Robot to Swipe on Tinder

How I used Python, pynder, and Google’s Inception network to train a robot to operate my online dating account

Andrew E Brereton
Published in
10 min readAug 12, 2019


Illustration: Qieer Wang

WWhen friends and family ask me how I feel about my machine-learning Tinder adventure, I tell them I’m a little embarrassed, but also a little proud. After all, it worked, didn’t it?

This won’t be a how-to article, for a few reasons:

  • What I did violates Tinder’s terms of service.
  • The code is ugly and bad and not at all up to my standards.
  • The Tinder API has likely changed significantly since I did this in June 2017, which means that this method would not likely work today.
  • This story could also be titled: “How to inject bias into your dating life.”
  • Like a cheesy movie, I think the real core issues I had with dating were in me, not in the apps or algorithms. The power was in me the whole time!

My problem with Tinder

When I was using Tinder, there was one aspect of it that made me more uncomfortable than anything else: how the endless swiping made me feel. I am not inclined to believe that a person can really be described, even in a long summary (or Q&A, OkCupid-style), especially a…