Watson helps you find the perfect match

Human connections, the cognitive way

IBM has used Watson to forecast the weather, teach people how to cook healthy food, create a hit song, and whip up a drink that tastes like the best part of going on vacation. Beyond this, Watson is playing matchmaker in a variety of ways, so let us share some examples on this Valentine’s Day.

Which celebrity is right for you?

Your Celebrity Match, a cognitive computing application based on IBM’s Watson Developer Cloud, allows users to enter any Twitter handle and see whose celebrity Twitter account is the most like it. Maybe you really should be with Nicki Minaj, or Kevin Hart should be your beau.

So how does IBM’s Your Celebrity Match quantify personalities? Driving the app is the IBM Watson Personality Insights service which performs a linguistic analysis of the language used in a public Twitter feed that the Watson-derived system interprets in the context of the Big Five personality traits. It then compares the results to those generated from the Twitter feeds of over 100 celebrities.

According to Watson, my closest celebrity match is Samuel L. Jackson. When I gave Watson access to my Twitter feed on the Your Celebrity Match website, it scanned my posts for the words I’ve used and the context I’ve used them in. Watson has been trained to gain a deeper understanding of the meanings of the tweets and can automatically infer, from potentially noisy social media, portraits of individuals that reflect their personality characteristics. My results for “personality” pinned me as outgoing and sensitive, but less easy going and analytical, which made me an 88 percent match with the critically acclaimed actor.

Watson finds flavor matches for Knorr

Giant food brand Knorr’s “Love at First Taste” campaign claims that the more aligned food preferences are between partners or potential partners, the stronger their attraction to each other.

Knorr asked 12,000 people in 12 countries what flavor means to them, to get a genuine understanding of the role it plays in everyday life. One of the key findings was that three in four people are more likely to be attracted to someone who enjoys the same flavors, while one in three said that the flavor preference of a partner could stop them from dating.

Knorr also created a Flavor Profiler in partnership with IBM that uses Watson to engage with consumers to create a unique insights tool that identifies individuals as one of twelve flavor profiles — from Tangy Dynamo and Gracious Grazer, to Deep Sea Dreamer or Melty Indulger — and serves up recipe recommendations accordingly.

“Then we went a bit further,” said Ukonwa Ojo, senior global director, Knorr. “We all thought our own flavor profiles were so true about us. What we then thought is, if flavor says that much about who you are, and we learned from the research that it does, how can we use it as a tool to connect people? And, we think the ultimate connection is love and romance.”

The brand then matched complete strangers based on their flavor profiles, placed a selection of their favorite foods on a table, put them in a room together and filmed what happened. Oh, and the couples were told they had to feed each other.

The result was the “Love at First Taste” ad, directed by Tatia Pilieva, director of the award-winning “First Kiss” — the Knorr film features similarly moving and intimate moments between complete strangers.

Read the Adage article about this campaign here. And have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!