In a world of overflowing data, algorithms that aim to find one’s perfect match have reached a new level. The sales pitch of OkCupid, one of the gratis datingsites based in New York, says “We use math to get you dates!”
Christian Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid, actually spends his time assessing data from users in order to gain insights.
Lauren Rosewarne, a sociologist from the University of Melbourne, said, “We like the idea of maths-based matching because it suggests we can set limits to a game of chance.”
Dating sites usually start by asking users about their personal information, as well as their preferences. However, their focus has expanded from gauging compatibility to predicting chemistry.
The “Desire” Era
Studies show that women that use dating sites look for men that are their own age; meanwhile, most men are attracted to women who are between 20 to 22 years old. Although this is an ironic circumstance, it actually illustrates a vital point. Kari Taylor, the marketing director of RSVP, said, “What we know about dating is that what people say they want, and what people really want, are very different in practice.”
Matching people according to their behavior is actually adaptive; it would evaluate what you said that you wanted and your behavior. For instance, if you said you prefer a partner that has a stable income but you always message freelance writers; then, the algorithm will suggest knew recommendations.
The Love Language
Predicting who someone wants to interact with is much harder than predicting who they want to marry. More often than not, people choose who they’re attracted is subjective and may vary according to a set of characteristics.
Steve Carter, the vice president of eHarmony, says their company’s predictive model of attraction has improved for up to 400% in the past couple of years. “We’ve gone from predicting a minuscule amount of variance to predicting a very small amount.”
According to Carter, an attraction algorithm is possible since there are so much data available. However, the question remains whether this is the direction that the online dating industry should be heading.
The Tinder app, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on models and algorithms to measure compatibility. They, however, only rely on the original ingredients of romance, looks and distance; the rest is then attributed to “fate”. You might say that the app is about judging people according to their appearance and it may sound shallow, but this is actually what happens in reality.