Can’t handle the thought of rejecting someone to his or her face? Luckily technology is the best wing man. The Ghostbot app is a new app that detects incoming texts from a person you’re hoping to not communicate with and sends an unenthusiastic automated response on your behalf.
For example, if the other person pushes for a date, Ghostbot app might reply: “Nope,” “I just have no time right now,” or “Sorry, just me and [pizza emoji] tonight.” This continues until the pestering messages peter out.
“We hear a lot of anecdotes about terrible texting from dating matches, but sometimes blocking someone creates an awkward social circumstance.The Ghostbot app helps you go through the motion of ghosting someone without negative consequences,” said Will Carter, co-founder of Ad Hoc Labs, which makes Ghostbot.
Ghostbot is built to be used with an app called Burner, which allows you to create alternative temporary phone numbers to give people – be they online dating matches, sales associates or anyone you want to conceal your real number from.
The Burner team worked with bot-makers Voxable and screenwriter Peter Miriani to ensure the chatbot had a more human personality.
“It’s designed to be noncommittal but also have a little bit of snark or character when it interprets a message that’s provocative,” said Carter.
This means Ghostbot might send the poop emoji or the thumbs down sign when it detects a lewd comment or a “booty call” text. “We didn’t want the bot to escalate or be too over-the-top or mean,” he said.
Carter doesn’t recommend using the Ghostbot app for ending long-term relationships. “It’s really designed with a specific use case of empowering people to not to have to deal with uncomfortable situations,” he said.The bot isn’t going to pass the Turing Test any time soon, but that hasn’t stopped people who tested the app from trying to make Ghostbot change its mind.
“People sometimes try to make the bot like them. It won’t, even if the person is completely charming,” said Carter.