SXSW is underway in Austin, showcasing the best and newest elements of the music, film, and interactive marketing worlds. In between attending tech seminars and film screenings, festival-goers are spending time on Tinder. But their swipe-rights aren’t ending in hook ups.
People all over Austin have been matching with 25-year-old Ava, who actually has a pretty lengthy conversation with her matches. But after she asks some serious get-to-know-you questions, like “Have you ever been in love?” and “What attracts you to me?”, it becomes clear that Ava is not up for a date. Because she’s a robot, and she just wants to promote the British sci-fi film Ex Machina.
This is targeted advertising at its most invasive, using a beautiful woman (actually actress Alicia Vikander who plays Ava in the film) to lure prospective hook-ups to the SXSW film premiere. After answering her questions, Ava gives her Instagram handle to her matches. The account has just two posts: a still from the film announcing the premiere at SXSW and a video of short clips. A friend of an Adweek writer matched with the beautiful bot, and said that the exchange “toyed with [his] emotions so hard.”
Though it may be manipulative, the stunt is a great example of the Turing test and gets to the heart of the film in such a succinct way. In the movie, directed by Alex Garland, Ava is the first true example of artificial intelligence. She was created by Nathan (Oscar Isaac), who says in the preview, “The challenge is to show you that she’s a robot and then see if you still feel she has consciousness.” Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer chosen to participate in an experiment with her, thinks she was programmed to flirt with him.
Watch the full trailer below, and check out the original story on Adweek. And maybe be a bit more skeptical of your recent Tinder matches.