At the annual four-day Web Summit in Lisbon this week, a plethora of tech companies discussed the ways in which programming computers can reproduce human thinking and decision-making processes. Dating apps highlighted some of their prospective uses for AI technology.
Forget Tinder, Bumble, Match.com and other sites where you have to swipe through long lists of profiles. New dating apps are emerging that use AI to suggest where you should go on a first date, what you should say, or even what partner most resembles your favourite celebrity.
For a long time, smartphone dating apps like Tinder left it up to users to ask someone out and then make sure the date went well. But to ensure people aren’t disheartened by their seemingly endless searches through profiles, the online dating sector is using artificial intelligence (AI) to set up real-life meetings and act as a “dating coach”.
AI dating advisor
At the conference, world-famous dating site eHarmony announced that it is creating an AI-enabled feature which nudges users to suggest real-life meetings with people they have been chatting with for a while.
“There is a lot of activity on dating apps but by and large there is not a lot dates,” eHarmony CEO Grant Langston said.
“Guys don’t know how to ask, its astounding how many people need help and we think we can do that in automated way.”
Another app called Loveflutter analyses two matches’ message history to determine the users’ compatibility, and then suggests meeting places.
“We will ping a message saying ‘You are getting along really well, why don’t you go on your first date’,” said Loveflutter CFO Daigo Smith.
Loveflutter also uses information from Foursquare (an app that helps smartphone users find nearby restaurants, clubs and bars) in order to suggest first date locations that are equally far from both people’s homes.
“It kind of takes the pressure off organizing the first date,” said Smith.
Tinder’s founder Sean Rad said that AI will “create better user experiences” and predicts iPhone’s Siri voice assistant could even act as a matchmaker in the future. No one imagined Siri would become our society’s digital cupid, but it could be very possible.
Voice activated tech helps you find the one
Another app called AIMM us using AI to mirror to human matchmaking services, and has over 1000 users in in the Denver area where its being tested.
When you use this app, a sweet voice asks you questions about where you’d like to go on a date or a vacation. It then suggests suitable matches based on your personality. Once you have picked one you want to meet, the app tells you everything they can about them.
After a few days, the app will set up a phone call between you and your match, and give you advice on how you should act on your first date.
“It will say things like ‘based on her personality inclination she is a traditional person, I would recommend dinner and a walk,” says Kevin Teman, the app’s developing manager.
The app will also remind you to ask questions “about the things that are important to you” during the day.
Once the date is over, the app checks in with both people to see if it went well and whether they should keep on seeing each other, or look for someone else.
Basically, it takes the pressure off any need to use human intuition or human understanding. The AI will do it for you.
Teman claims the app will launch in the US early next year.
Celebrity look-alike match feature
While the other apps might just replace human intuition capabilities, this app will help you get the lover of your dreams. Badoo, a new London based app will use facial recognition tech to find users a match that resembles their celebrity crush.
If they would like, users can upload a picture of someone and the app will find lookalikes among their 400 million users around the world.
Kim Kardashian, Emma Stone, and Beyoncé are the most commonly searched for celebrities since Badoo introduced their “Lookalikes” feature in 2017.
At the end of the day though, not everyone is convinced that AI is the future of matchmaking. At the Web Summit, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “a little bit skeptical” that it could help “people find their soulmates.”
“I’m very happy I have chosen my soulmate by traditional methods,” said the former Portuguese prime minister, who is married to a Lisbon city councilor.