Why online dating is hard
The two services used by these individuals were OKCupid and Match.com, two of the largest and most popular dating websites on the Internet.What I learned from carrying out an interview of a female and the interview of a male trying to dig into this intriguing subject was that using the Internet for dating is equally painful for men and for women, but for very different reasons.Although I eventually married the woman a computer identified as my top match, I also went on dates with other women the computer thought I would like—and I didn’t.But by taking action to join online dating sites, my dating pool expanded, increasing my chances of meeting the right person. He found that inequality on dating apps is stark, and that it was significantly worse for men.The top 1% of guys get more than 16% of all likes on the app, compared to just over 11% for the top 1% of women.If we’re not so good at predicting what we’ll like in our partners, it isn’t such a surprise that machines also struggle.
Beforehand, participants completed questionnaires that measured their personality traits, values, dating strategies, well-being, and what their ideal mate would want in a partner.
Then I found out that I didn’t have to write a profile at all: All I needed to do was fill out some basic personal information. One day, I received an email from the service with a picture of my ideal match. In some cases, machine learning excels at spotting patterns and making predictions.
Pay Pal utilizes machine learning to fight financial fraud; some companies use the technique to predict who will pay back their loans; and clinical scientists employ machine learning to identify which symptoms of depression are most effectively treated with antidepressant medication.
So it makes sense that online dating services including e Harmony, Ok Cupid, and use algorithms to try to surface potential matches.
(Although Tinder and other swipe-based dating apps don’t try to make specific matches, Tinder does use algorithms based on swiping behavior to identify people whom others find desirable.) But matters of the human heart are hard to predict—as psychologists Samantha Joel, Paul Eastwick, and Eli Finkel found out when they conducted their own speed-dating events.