Meeno, Your AI Relationships Coach

Relationships coaching (of all kinds) is the ideal application for LLM, with the conversational interface of a chatbot.

AI-powered chatbots have a wide range of teaching and coaching use cases.

AI-powered robot companions are a common theme of sci-fi, from the Outer Limits to the 2013 movie Her.

With the rise of LLM chatbots, meaningful conversation with an AI is now possible. That gives rise to applications where the interaction between user and AI is not simply the means by which information is gained: It's an end in itself.

While there are a number of "Partner"-style applications, other use cases are seeking to address the underlying reasons why there might be demand for such AI companions in the first place.

The Growing Problem Of Social Isolation

Even before the lockdowns of the COVID pandemic, loneliness and isolation were widespread problems, with serious implications for mental and physical health. One medical study found that loneliness had impacts on health equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It's worst for the isolated older generation, but also the young.

Megan Jones Bell is Google’s clinical director of mental health, and also an early investor in Meeno, an AI-powered relationship mentoring app. "There’s a unique issue with Gen Z around social isolation—specifically, around them not forming lasting and meaningful relationships," she explains. "And that really, to me, comes down to an absence of the opportunity to build the skills that they need to do that... There’s a missed developmental step that’s happened for an entire generation. They’re growing up in an environment where they had less opportunity to practice relationships."

Filling The Gaps

Meeno is was founded by Renate Nyborg, former CEO of Tinder, before ChatGPT took the AI world by storm—though the rise of generative AI (GAI) has helped spur interest in the company.

Nyborg describes the app as being similar to Remy, the rat in Disney film Ratatouille, who guides the protagonist's movements and helps him become a world-famous chef (as well as getting the girl). Meeno's job is similar: Help users navigate the sometimes confusing world of relationships.

Screenshot of Meeno interface
Meeno is designed to help coach users through difficult relationships, of all kinds

Users provide information such as age, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, helping to reduce bias and facilitate better answers.

Rather than being a "companion" app (it won't participate in erotic discussions), Meeno is designed to be more like a friend or therapist to bounce ideas off and give you advice—with the difference that it's available 24/7. And, while helping users with romantic relationships is one of its primary use cases, it can also be used in friendships, family, work, and other relationships.

"This is a really great example of appropriate use cases of LLM," says Bell. "It's not mental health. It’s not clinical. You’re not treating somebody for a condition in this case. You’re helping them learn and practice something."

This is an application of AI that will be used in many different learning settings in the future, including teaching hard and soft skills, from relationships coaching to languages (programming and spoken), business courses, and much more.

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