How AI Could Help You Find Love

Romance by bot

Key Takeaways

  • Dating sites are using artificial intelligence to help users find a good match. 
  • Experts say that using AI can help snag the right person and move the conversation along. 
  • AI can’t replace the human connection that comes with actually meeting someone in person, though.
Online dating concept: male and female artificial intelligences meet holding red balloons while standing on mobile phones
Donald Iain Smith / Getty Images

Online daters are getting some help in finding their matches thanks to the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) to make connections., for instance, has an AI-enabled chatbot named "Lara" that guides people through the process of romance, offering suggestions based on up to 50 personal factors. Other AI software can help suggest potential matches or even recommend a place to meet. Using AI is a matter of efficiency, especially during a pandemic, when dating options are limited, experts say. 

"AI is more accurate and personalized" than regular swipe and match online dating, relationship expert Michelle Devani said in an email interview with Lifewire.

"AI reveals high-potential matches that result in a great opportunity to find love. The more it is used, the more accurate the matches are. Also, AI helps users improve their profiles by giving suggestions on creating an interesting profile, thus quickly catching attention."

AI Helps You Chat Up Your Date

Online dating companies are cozying up to AI. Dating website eHarmony has used AI to analyze users' messages and suggest how to liven up the conversation. Happn uses AI to rank profiles and show those it predicts a user might prefer. Tinder’s CEO said in a video that AI eventually will simplify the process of selecting mates. Loveflutter’s AI even can suggest a restaurant for your date. 

Understanding how the AI works can help you up your game on dating sites, Scott Valdez, the founder and president of VIDA Select, an online matchmaking and dating service, said in an email interview. You can put yourself at a disadvantage if you swipe right most of the time, then decide who to message, he pointed out. 

"You’re not teaching the algorithm anything useful when you take that approach, so your match feed will be less curated," Valdez said. "But a heavily curated match feed presents a bigger disadvantage—you could be getting limited by your 'type.'"

"You may still be highly compatible with someone who deviates from your specific preferences, but if an algorithm is too restrictive, you’ll never get a chance to connect with them. Chemistry involves so many senses, and the human psyche is a deep emotional well. It’s not something easily quantified in hard data on an app.”

Machines Can’t Replace Cupid

Don’t expect AI to immediately turn your dating life around, though, some experts warn. "The term artificial 'intelligence' misleads people into thinking that a 'Star Wars' robot is actually thinking about who is the best girlfriend/boyfriend for them, which is wrong," Federico Giorgio De Faveri, lead engineer at software developer Keenn, told Lifewire in an email interview. 

"In reality, AI is driven by a set of very complex mathematical algorithms that will try all possible combinations and keep track statistically of what works best."

A robot hand and a human hand forming the shape of a heart.
Donald Iain Smith / Getty Images

There’s only so much of your love life you can outsource to AI, Devani said. "Although AI is efficient in finding love matches, daters should also be aware that these are just machines, and they do not show emotions," she added.

"It does not really show the personality of the person. Users must still be conscious of those with whom they interact. It is still up to them to decide whether the other person is the perfect match."

But AI could soon get more helpful when it comes to dating. Chris Phipps, the chief marketing officer of stealth-mode technology company Phenometrix, said in an email interview that his company is close to launching software that can detect personality traits in people’s faces. Dating sites are among the potential customers, he said. 

Valdez said there’s a lot of potential for AI in the online dating space, since it’s still an emerging technology. "Facial recognition, for instance, can help a dating app identify physical characteristics it determines you’re attracted to, then prioritize those profiles," he added. "AI will likely get more involved in the messaging aspect."

This Valentine’s Day, you might want to let AI be your guide to the dating world. Just don’t trust it entirely to find the right person.

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