AI Is Redefining Love
In 2017, when a journalist asked the co-founder of Tinder how he imagined his dating app in five years, Sean Rad pulled out his smartphone and pretended to have a conversation with the device.
“The Tinder voice might pop up and say, ‘There’s someone down the street that we think you’re going to be attracted to, and she’s also attracted to you, and guess what, she’s free tomorrow night! And we know you both like this indie band, and it’s playing, so would you like us to buy your tickets?’”
And now, in 2022, exactly five years later, AI algorithms helping you find your perfect date by compiling enormous amounts of data from age, gender, location, and sexual preferences, to online purchasing history and even Spotify playlists have become very real. Artificial intelligence (AI) is progressively redefining love and making it brutally effective in ways more than one.
Today finding love is no longer determined by what's going on in our lives or networks. People are leaning on the speed, vast candidate pool, and convenience of machine algorithms to find a mate. As Michal Kosinski, a computational psychologist and assistant professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business says,
"Algorithms can end up knowing a person better than friends, family, or even themselves, revolutionizing matchmaking. Algorithms can learn from the experiences of billions of others. In contrast, a typical person can only learn from their own experience and the experience of a relatively small number of friends."
Here is how advanced artificial intelligence is redefining dating to an exciting new automated, hands-off level.
- Better Matches Through Extensive Surveys.
- Arranged Marriages for Millennials
- Auto Detection of Fake Profiles.
- DNA Dating and VR Dating
1. Better Matches Through Extensive Surveys
The most obvious use of AI for dating apps is in improving matching people with potential dates.
According to Venture Beat, a US-based technology research website in San Francisco, today's dating sites are only as good as the data they get. With that in mind, the best dating sites are using technology and data to weed out matches for users. People may miss signs that AI can catch, including the sentiment in communication, response times, and length of profiles.
Today, dating companies fall into two camps: sites like eHarmony, Match, and OkCupid ask users to fill out long personal essays and answer personality questionnaires which they use to pair members by compatibility (though when it comes to predicting attraction, researchers find these surveys dubious). Profiles like these are rich in information, but they take time to fill out and give daters ample incentive to misrepresent themselves.
On the other hand, companies like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge skip surveys and long essays and instead ask users to link their social media accounts. Tinder populates profiles with Spotify artists, Facebook friends and likes, and Instagram photos.
All these sites use advanced AI to weed out mismatches, saving people hours of searching through profiles and going on in-person dates. Compatibility signals that are easy for people to miss, such as sentiment in communication, response times, and length of profiles, are essential parameters in these matchmaking algorithms.
And these algorithms do work perfectly for a lot of people. Sixty-six percent of online daters have been on an in-person date with someone they met through a dating site.400+ eHarmony users get married each day, and more than 1 million babies have been born from Match.com matches.
A word of caution, any AI system can be gamed. For example, Amy Webb, a researcher, outsmarted the algorithm of an online dating site by deliberately catering her profile to the type of man she wanted to meet. And it worked.
The lesson here is that for online dating to be more successful, companies should tweak/add technologies to move past the one-size-fits-all approach prevalent in most dating sites today.
2. Arranged Marriages for Millennials
Millennials in India are looking at AI-powered matchmaking apps to find socially and intellectually compatible partners.
Companies like Betterhalf.ai target the big unorganized arranged marriage industry in many countries. As Pawan Gupta, co-founder and CEO, says,
"Betterhalf.ai is not for dating but a serious partner search product that does not go by the usual parameters of height, weight, complexion, caste, religion, and hobbies to arrive at a match. Compatibility scores thrown up by our advanced AI algorithm are based on relationship dimensions that help working professionals find relevant matches. As users keep using the product, more relevant data is gathered, making matches more compatible over time.”
And the service so far has been delivering outstanding results.
Manoj Kumar Singh, aged 32, turned to Betterhalf after years of failures with traditional matchmaking and dating websites. He was paired up with an HSBC executive, whom he found kind and caring. They were married within months. As Singh says,
“Over four years, I thought I had tried everything. After many frustrating attempts, an AI-based app helped me find a wife."
Of course, the biggest challenge is diversity and culture. Many users in diverse countries like India come up with extraordinarily specific, inflexible partner preferences. Can AI cater to all tastes and bring the right results? Only time can tell.
3. Auto Detection of Fake Profiles
AI capabilities also could help detect matrimonial fraud, a severe challenge in India. In one recent case, a serial con artist was arrested in Hyderabad after he created dozens of fake profiles. He married one woman, was living with another, and had defrauded hundreds more of millions of rupees.
Recently, researchers have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system to restrict fake profiles designed to con people on dating apps and websites. The computing algorithms are designed to understand what phony dating profiles look like and then apply this knowledge to scan profiles submitted to online dating services. As Tom Sorell, Professor at the University of Warwick in the UK, says,
“Using AI techniques to help reveal suspicious activity could be a game-changer that makes detection and prevention quicker, easier and more effective, ensuring that people can use dating sites with much more confidence in future.”
According to the researchers, the aim is now to enhance the technique further and enable it to start being taken up by dating services within the next couple of years, helping them to prevent profiles from being posted by scammers. The researchers said this new development would help millions of people who use online dating services in the UK and worldwide.
Security has serious ramifications. Security is a crucial concern for any dating app user, and one bad experience could turn away people forever. Apps must take this seriously and invest in making their platforms as secure as possible. Companies will have to rely only on AI to resolve this issue.
4. DNA Dating and VR Dating
By 2025, DNA dating and VR dating will remove the last vestiges of unpredictability from dating.
In DNA dating, People will use their DNA, big data, and artificial intelligence to create their perfect dates with max compatibility. Their personal dating avatars will find, diagnose and transact to ensure their date candidate is not a psycho. Next will be sentiment and behavioral analysis, along with a compatibility check for lifestyle, economics, culture, and values.
Then, the intimacy diagnostic report created with all the above parameters will be evaluated. If the diagnostic is compatible, you meet and take the relationship forward. Else abort and move on.
On the other hand, VR or Virtual reality dating focuses more on the experience of meeting people in real life. As Ross Dawson, Chairman, Future Exploration Network, says,
"There's a big gap between your image or profile-based dating and just meeting someone in real life — we still meet people in real life, but we still have Tinder, eHarmony, and your profile-based matching. So, we need to fill the gap in between, because so many times after seeing photos, reading each other's profiles, etc., it's a totally different experience when you meet in real life."
This gap has now been plugged in by Virtual Reality Dating, a way to connect and see what it's like to be with somebody, chat, and interact without being physically there. And that's when you can decide whether to go out on an actual date because you have to be sure it's worth your time and safety to go out on an actual physical date.
The technology and the headsets are already shaping to capture the nuances of our faces and facial expressions. And AI will soon be able to build up what the whole face will look like and people's live expressions quite accurately.
Thus, with better resolution and gesture tracking, we can see how we sit, look, emote and turn our heads in virtual reality. And based on the data, we can decide whether to dump the partner or settle for life.
But There Is an Underlying Fear of AI
The thought of our intelligent devices creating our biometric profile could be pretty alarming, and there will always be an underlying notion of fear.
This fear is because humans are basically creatures of habit who attain purpose by following set routines, and new technology disrupts this. Remember the "Y2K" bug scare when the world prepared extensively for the time apocalypse, and then nothing happened? We will always be frightened of technology, especially new technology.
However, there is no denying that AI will revolutionize how we find our possible significant others and ultimately help us choose the right one. Perhaps at the very least, AI can help prevent a broken heart. It will be a true friend in need.
As Yann LeCun has rightly said about AI.
"Our intelligence makes us human, and AI is an extension of that quality."
- Artificial Intelligence and Dating: How Machines Help Us Meet
- AI AND THE FUTURE OF DATING
- Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Dating and Love
- Artificial intelligence and dating: how AI affects your choice of partner
- The Future Of The Dating Industry, How Emerging Technologies Will Revolutionize The Dating Industry-Dr. Harrison Sachs
- Dating AI, A Guide to Falling In Love with Artificial Intelligence-Ph.D. Alex Zhavoronkoff
- A Human's Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control-Kartik Hosanagar
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Ravi Rajan