Leaving love to AI: The rise of AI-powered dating apps

Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Leaving love to AI: The rise of AI-powered dating apps

Can technology help us find true love?

Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

In a world where most exchanges happen online, and loneliness is a growing
problem, can technology save humanity?

Can technology save humanity?

In today’s world, where most human exchanges happen online, and loneliness is a growing, global problem among all age groups, can technology save humanity?

Dating websites have already been around for decades but their effectiveness hasn’t improved much since their early start. Love seekers still need to invest valuable time virtually getting to know hundreds of potential matches and going out on dates with tens of them until potentially finding one they’d like to see again. Apps like Tinder haven’t helped much, despite seemingly simplifying the process through the ability to make decisions by swiping gestures. To land a date, one still needs to browse through endless profiles, photos and bios before even being able to swipe. Then, of course, swiping right must be mutual, or there’s no match, no chat, no date, no potential for eternal love.

Better than dating apps

If the typical dating app scenario described here sounds like too much work, it’s because it is, despite technology’s attempts to disrupt this dynamic. Anyone who has ever given dating apps or websites a try will tell you that sifting through thousands of profiles in vain can quickly result in fatigue and unwillingness to keep going. Due to these hurdles, the online dating industry has gotten creative and come up with a potential solution to this existential problem. What if AI could take on the grunt work of selecting the most promising match profiles, based on certain pre-defined selection criteria and match preferences? What if AI could even go a step further and propose a date (and a time) to those matches, thereby eliminating the awkward first ‘hello’ and the silent or vocalized rejections that often follow?

AI-powered apps to the rescue

Enter AI-powered apps, a new use for artificial intelligence algorithms that could save the state of the online dating sector by taking the guesswork and tedious foreplay out of the equation and getting straight to the point — finding and landing matches that are likely to work out offline. How can AI accomplish this? At Web Summit Lisbon, various talks on the topic have highlighted that thinking, sorting, and decision-making can be left to AI, if the preferences of each match seeker are provided in good faith and are well-defined beforehand.

No shortage of AI dating solutions

Online dating pioneer eHarmony has announced that it is developing an AI-enabled feature which would prompt users to suggest dates after they have been chatting with potential matches in the app for a while. British dating app Loveflutter plans to use AI to analyze user conversations and quantify the level of their compatibility before proposing a date. In India, Bengaluru-based Betterhalf.ai, a matchmaking platform, uses AI to improve matches.

In another example, dating app Hinge uses a proprietary stable marriage algorithm, based on AI, allegedly offering unparalleled matches that humans couldn’t conceive on their own. Hinge claims that it is the number one mobile dating app cited when couples are asked how they met, and that 75% of all first dates lead to subsequent meetings.

AI-powered mates

What if there just isn’t a human out there who matches us perfectly, with or without the help of AI? Not to worry, AI has a solution to this problem, too. In the movie “Her,” the protagonist falls in love with Samantha, who is nothing more than an AI-powered program. Sure, Samantha is more evolved than Siri or Alexa — she’s intelligent, funny, and emotional — in some respects, she’s more human than true humans. Is this the future of love?

I can’t help but think of the tamagotchi’s of the 90’s that we so lovingly took care of and interacted with, just like real pets. Similarly, AI-powered algorithms and programs can mimic and evoke reciprocal human emotions and empathy, but they have none of their own — a fact that we seem to willingly forget in the name of being understood, even if it is by a machine.

The future of AI-powered matches

If we are to believe the plethora of artificial intelligence applications that are popping up, a computer algorithm is the best matchmaker there is, knowing all about our characters, personalities and utmost desires. The hopeless romantics that we all are, we willingly provide this very personal data to websites, apps and databases with little knowledge about how it will be used, stored or protected, and who will have access to it. If this data falls into more sinister hands, it can be used manipulatively or worse. Our honest desire to find a mate in life could end up costing us more than we bargained for. Leaving this responsibility solely to privacy directives like GDPR or ePrivacy is unrealistic; users and app providers must be vigilant about protecting this data, too.

Copywriter: inadanova.com

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