This is How AI is Redefining Love
And Making it Brutally Effective.
In 2017, when a journalist asked the co-founder of Tinder how he imagined his dating app in five years’ time, 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 2019 — a little more than 2 years later, the prospect of algorithms finding your perfect match by compiling enormous amounts of data — from age, gender, location, and sexual preferences, to online purchasing history and even Spotify playlists — has become very real.
And 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 by our networks. Serendipity and instinct aren’t as heavily relied on with the rise of online dating. People are leaning on the speed, vast candidate pool, and convenience of machine algorithms to find a mate.
“Algorithms can end up knowing a person better than friends, family or even themselves, and that’s revolutionizing matchmaking”, says Michal Kosinski, a computational psychologist and assistant professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. “Algorithms can learn from experiences of billions of others, while a typical person can only learn from their own experience and the experience of a relatively small number of friends.”
let’s look at some of the ways in which advanced artificial intelligence is being developed to take automated dating to a new, hands-off level.
Better Matches Through Extensive Surveys.
Of course, the most obvious use of AI for dating apps is in improving matching people with potential dates.
According to Venture Beat, “today’s dating sites are only as good as the data they’re given.” With that in mind, the best dating sites are using technology and data to weed out matches for users. Signals that people may miss but AI can catch include 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.
And all these sites are using 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 considered important to matchmaking algorithms.
And there are many signs that these equations work for a lot of people.66 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, however. today’s dating sites are only as good as the data they’re given.
And the system can be gamed. 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 online dating might be more successful with more personalized data and companies should tweak/add technologies to move past the one-size-fits-all approach prevalent in most of the dating sites today.
“Predictable” Arranged Marriages for Millennials.
Millennials in India are looking at AI-powered matchmaking apps to find socially and intellectually compatible partners.
And Companies like Betterhalf.ai are targeting the big unorganized arranged marriage industry prevalent in many countries. This is a much different matrimonial approach from the ones Indians have known for centuries. Matchmakers or families find prospective spouses within their circle and then vet the duo’s horoscopes by astrologers to ensure that the stars are aligned for the match.
“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” says Pawan Gupta, co-founder, and CEO.
And the service is delivering results.
Manoj Kumar Singh, 32, turned to Betterhalf after years of failures with traditional matchmaking and dating websites. He was paired up with an HSBC executive, he found kind and caring. They were married within months. “Over four years, I thought I’d tried everything,” Singh recounted telling friends when he first heard of Betterhalf. “After so many frustrating attempts, an AI-based app helped find me a wife.”
Of course, the biggest challenge is diversity and culture. In diverse countries like India, many users come up with extraordinarily specific, inflexible partner preferences.
And can AI cater to all preferences and bring the right results? Only time can tell.
Auto Detection of Fake Profiles.
AI capabilities also could help detect matrimonial fraud, a serious 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.
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 have been designed specifically to understand what fake dating profiles look like and then to apply this knowledge to scan profiles submitted to online dating services.
“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,” says Tom Sorell, Professor at the University of Warwick in the UK.
According to the researchers, the aim is now to further enhance the technique and enable it to start being taken up by dating services within the next couple of years, helping them to prevent profiles being posted by scammers. The news will be very welcome to the millions of people who use online dating services in the UK and worldwide, the researchers said.
Security has serious ramifications. Security is a key concern for any dating app user, and one bad experience could turn away people forever.
And It’s vital that apps take this seriously and invest in ways to make their platforms as secure as possible. Companies will have to rely only on AI to resolve this issue.
DNA Dating and VR Dating
By 2020, DNA dating and VR dating will remove the last vestiges of unpredictability from love.
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 make sure your date candidate is not a psycho. Next, there will be sentiment and behavioral analysis, along with a compatibility check for lifestyle, economics, culture, and values.
Then, the Intimacy Diagnostic created with all the above parameters will be evaluated. If the diagnostic is compatible, you meet and take the relationship forward. Else just abort and move on.
On the other hand, VR or Virtual reality dating focuses more on the experience of meeting people in real life.
Ross Dawson, Chairman, Future Exploration Network says. “There’s a big gap still 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 what we need to do is 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.”
Which brings us to Virtual Reality Dating — a way to be able to connect, to be able to see what it’s like to be with somebody and chat, interact, without actually being physically there. And that’s when you can decide whether to go out on a real date because you have to be sure it’s worth your time and your safety to go out on a real physical date.
The technology and the headsets are already shaping up to capture the nuances of our face and facial expressions.
And AI will soon be able to then build up what the whole face is going to look like and people’s live expressions quite accurately. Then better resolution and better gesture tracking, so we can see the way we’re sitting, looking, turning our heads — it will all be expressed in the virtual reality space.
So in a real-life setting, you could be prepared beforehand on what to say based on everything AI knows about this person, and what specific situations or conversational lines they respond to best. And based on data you decide the way ahead.
The thought of our smart devices creating our biometric profile could be quite alarming, but with all new technology, there will always be an underlying notion of fear.
This is mainly because people are creatures of habit, that attain purpose in routine, and new technology disrupts this. Remember “Y2K” when the world prepared for the time apocalypse and then nothing happened? The reality is we will always be frightened of technology, especially new technology.
But being matched because of yours and your partner’s smart device’s data will extensively help us understand what kind of companions are better suited for us from the very beginning.
And AI will revolutionize the way we find our possible significant others and ultimately help us choose the right one. From our sleeping and exercise patterns to financial habits, everything can be controlled, monitored and predicted with astonishing accuracy.
Perhaps at the very least, AI can help prevent a broken heart. It is just a friend in need.
As Yann LeCun has rightly said about AI.
“Our intelligence is what makes us human, and AI is an extension of that quality.”
About the author-:
Ravi Rajan is a global IT program manager based out of Mumbai, India. He is also an avid blogger, Haiku poetry writer, archaeology enthusiast, and history maniac. Connect with Ravi on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.