Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence the new Cu­pid

The Herald (South Africa) - - News -

For­get swip­ing though end­less pro­files.

Dat­ing apps are us­ing ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to sug­gest where to go on a first date, rec­om­mend what to say and even find a part­ner who looks like your favourite celebrity.

Un­til re­cently, smart­phone dat­ing apps – such as Tin­der which lets you see in real time who is avail­able and “swipe” if you wish to meet some­one – left it up to users to ask some­one out and then make the date go well.

But to fight grow­ing fa­tigue from search­ing through pro­files in vain, the on­line dat­ing sec­tor is turn­ing to ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) to help ar­range meet­ings in real life and act as a dat­ing coach.

Th­ese new uses for AI – the sci­ence of pro­gram­ming com­put­ers to re­pro­duce hu­man pro­cesses such as think­ing and de­ci­sion-mak­ing – by dat­ing apps were high­lighted at the four-day Web Sum­mit which wrapped up on Thurs­day in Lis­bon, Por­tu­gal.

On­line dat­ing pi­o­neer eHar­mony an­nounced it was de­vel­op­ing an AI-en­abled fea­ture which nudges users to sug­gest meet­ing in per­son af­ter they have been chat­ting in the app for a while.

“There is a lot of ac­tiv­ity on dat­ing apps but by and large there is not a lot of dates,” eHar­mony’s CEO, Grant Langston, told the an­nual tech gath­er­ing.

“Guys don’t know how to ask. It’s as­tound­ing re­ally how many peo­ple need help and we think we can do that in an au­to­mated way.”

Bri­tish dat­ing app Love­flut­ter plans to use AI to an­a­lyse chats be­tween its users to de­ter­mine their com­pat­i­bil­ity and sug­gest when they should meet.

“We will ping a mes­sage say­ing ‘You are get­ting along re­ally well, why don’t you go on your first date’,” Love­flut­ter co­founder Daigo Smith said.

Love­flut­ter al­ready sug­gests places to go on a first date that are equidis­tant from both peo­ple’s homes us­ing in­for­ma­tion from Foursquare, an app that helps smart­phone users find nearby restau­rants, bars and clubs.

“It kind of takes the pres­sure off or­gan­is­ing that first date,” Smith said.

Tin­der founder Sean Rad said AI would cre­ate bet­ter user ex­pe­ri­ences and pre­dicted iPhone’s Siri Voice as­sis­tant would in the fu­ture act as a match­maker.

An en­tirely voice op­er­ated dat­ing app called AIMM which uses AI to mir­ror a hu­man match­mak­ing ser­vice is be­ing tested in Den­ver, Colorado, and has about 1,000 users.

When you open the app, a sooth­ing voice asks ques­tions about what you like to do on a date.

It then sug­gests suit­able matches based on your per­son­al­ity. Once you have picked one you would like to meet, the app tells you about them.

Af­ter sev­eral days the app will help set up a time for a phone call be­tween you and your match – and give ad­vice for your first date based on what it knows about the other per­son. –

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