39% of straight couples report meeting their partner online. And according to a bold claim with evidence from the Wall Street Journal, Dating Apps are Making Marriages Stronger. What if “the machine” is actually quite good at this job? What if it creates more lasting relationships than we ever could through our friends’ connections? That would be a wonderful thing. Right?
For the most part, the stigma of online dating has worn off. Everyone knows a couple that has met this way. And at those numbers, I mean WOW, we really have taken a liking to online dating.
But my question is, “At what point does algorithmic matchmaking go too far?” Because this latest piece of technology seems to be riding a fine line.
The AI Wingman
The newest dating app to take on Match Group, the New York Yankees of online dating, is a company called AIMM, who is fulfilling the role of AI wingman. After finding matching users up:
Their AI coaches users through a first phone call, gives advice for the first date, and even provides feedback afterwards. You’ll say if you’ve gone on your date, and it gets feedback on chemistry and how you felt overall. If you indicated highly, you follow up and set up a new date. If it didn’t go well and you like the person, it says to give it some time and be patient. If the attraction is one-sided, the app might gently prod you to move on.Tanya Basu, MIT Tech Review
When you look at the broad picture, the AI wingman seems to be a natural evolution of online dating. This thing that can advise you on how to approach your date. It can “sell” you better than you can yourself and maybe even better than your best friend could. You and I both know that this would be a very lucrative creation.
However, just because it seems like a natural evolution, doesn’t mean that it’s a necessary evolution.
The problem is that it’s hard to know exactly what “ the right amount” of technology is in a given area of life until you’ve past that “right amount.”
Personally, I think we’re at that perfect amount right now with the current state of digital matchmaking. And I fear that the AI wingman or some other technology is going to tip us past that point.
Honestly, what comes after the AI wingman? A relationship maintainer? Something that texts your spouse and listens on your behalf to keep the fire burning?
That’s what I fear.
All in all, I’m going to join the bold claim by saying that the machine is in fact better at picking compatible people than we are. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you met your significant other. The matchmaking AI can set up the deal, but it’s on you to close it… for the time being.