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Love in the Age Of Algorithms

Meeting the perfect person is merely but a click away; however, what is the impact of matching algorithms in the traditional dating circle and do they truly, and really match?

Love in the Dawn of Online Dating

The first time I came across the use of data algorithms and online matchmaking was surprisingly through the first season of famous 2000’s TV series ‘how I met your mother’ ever since those crude descriptions and methods, online dating has gone a long way and in a relatively short amount of time. For starters, the shy perception shrouding online dating has changed, it has firmly embedded into the society.

Tinder, OkCupid, and eHarmony each with the promise to help you find the “right one” through algorithmic analysis of thousands of profile data but, do they really contribute to the success of a date? Let’s go through this stuff properly. Basically, what these algorithms do is match profile data with most compatible likes and preferences b’cos it’s assumed that people with similar interests tend to get more romantically involved than otherwise. However, in the traditional dating setting, a lot of factors come into play in this context.

For starters, partner’s personalities account for only half a percent of how happy a date or relationship is, thanks to a 2012 paper “Psychological Science in the Public Interest,“ published by Northwestern University’s Eli Finkel and four co-authors. Basically, a relationship depends on three factors according to Frankel et al.: quality of interaction, individual characteristics, and surrounding circumstance’s so basically algorithms brings less than 6% to the table of love and a happy relationship.

From a more critical perspective, matching algorithms aren’t really as great as they are hyped. Look at it from my perspective, if I have to pay good money for a dating site to match me to a partner, I expect the matching algorithm to predict the success of the relationship basically, I wouldn’t have to jolt around multiple partners to find a perfect match. This is the major obstacle all matching algorithms face, and their lack of accountability for future circumstances is why we jibe off to the next person because let’s face it, relationships go beyond a pretty/handsome face and an impressive profile. So with this in mind, these are some key factors future algorithms need to address.

Predictive reports

Match and eHarmony laid the online groundwork decades ago, but just like I stated earlier, there’s still a long way to go. Stuff such as the potential for AI to predict sexual chemistry via wearable tech and specific gene codes this would really save a lot of stress. Algorithmic matching has already had a tremendous effect on how people meet, form relationships and date but not in the areas of providing a probable analysis of how well this match goes. I would expect in the future when I meet someone online and go through their profile, there’s a predictive analysis on how dating this person would seem. Like, “hey Chester there’s a 65% chance you’re gonna have a wedding with Amy in 6 months,” wink.

VR and AR in creating date scenarios

With people gradually getting comfortable with strapping on VR headsets, I expect future online dating environment to incorporate intelligent use of VR and AR in love matching. I envision a scenario where daters can meet in virtual reality or even travel to desired locations, play video games while sitting in their couches. I am of the firm conviction this would go a long way to foster the success of online matchmaking.

Relationship support- coaching and counseling

Future matching algorithms should incorporate AI coaching and counseling assistance. I’ve always felt current love matching algorithms lack the ability to help build a healthy relationship. Communication, trust, and self-improvements are often the major rift causing factors of most relationship so since we have AI do most of our biddings today, why not create something that can help nurture these relationships beyond merely matching them?

Currently, AI such as Alexa and Siri have begun communicating and reviewing daily matches between users on a given dating platform, reminding users of scheduled dates and others. So we are hoping, future matching algorithms in collaboration with AI should have the capability to observe the impairing factors of a relationship and offer counseling regarding them.

To sum it up, matching algorithms have done a great job bringing people of like interests together but a lot needs to done in creating that natural chemistry of love and affection, and hopefully, future algorithms will address this.