(Both sides agreed to drop the suits early last year.) Despite the controversy, the company subsequently attempted to streamline its bot-creation process.Internal documents leaked during the Ashley Madison hack detail how, according to a 2013 email from managing director Keith Lalonde to then-CEO Noel Biderman, the company improved sex machine production for "building Angels enmass [sic]." This was done, Lalonde wrote, because the staff was getting "writers block when making them one at a time and were not being creative enough." (Reps for Ashley Madison did not return requests for comment).Bloggers poured over the data, estimating that of the 5.5 million female profiles on the site, as few as 12,000 were real women β€” allegations that Ashley Madison denied. Bots are infiltrating just about every dating service.

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A leaked file of sample dialogue includes lines such as: "Is anyone home lol, I'd enjoy an interesting cyber chat, are you up to it?

" and "I might be a bit shy at first, wait til you get to know me, wink wink :)".

"You can design a bot to fool fraud detection." But, in the case of a number of dating sites, developers aren't trying to weed out fake profiles β€” they are tirelessly writing scripts and algorithms to unleash more of them.

It’s the dirtiest secret of the $2 billion online dating business and it stretches far beyond Ashley Madison.

"And our bots would kick ass."he fact that AI con artists are up to such tricks isn't surprising or new.

But what's truly phenomenal is the durability of this online hustle, and the millions of saps still falling for it.

"A lot of people think this only happens to dumb people, and they can tell if they're talking to a bot," says Steve Baker, a lead investigator for the Federal Trade Commission tells me. The people running these scams are professionals, they do this for a living."The scam starts with creating a chat bot, which is easier than you'd think. The Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity, or ALICE, which generates scripts for chatterbots, has been around for decades.

These programs can be modified for any purpose, though designing a believable online dating companion can take considerable time and effort β€” perhaps too much for some of the troops at Ashley Madison.

According to leaked emails, to create the bots, the staff utilized photos from what they described as "abandoned profiles" that were at least two years old.