Hackernoon logo"Did it Work? Are They Married?" Yes! The Ongoing Marriage Between Technology and Online Dating by@jeffreytinsley

"Did it Work? Are They Married?" Yes! The Ongoing Marriage Between Technology and Online Dating

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@jeffreytinsleyJeffrey Tinsley

Jeffrey Tinsley is Founder & CEO of MyLife.com, which helps individuals protect themselves online.

Every time technology evolves, our lives change a little bit more. It continues to transform how we communicate, how we entertain ourselves, and how we work. It even changes how we find love.Β 

Online dating may seem like a newer novelty, but it's actually been around longer than you might think. We're familiar with sites and apps like eHarmony, Match.com, and Tinder, but using technology to pair up compatible singles can be dated all the way back to 1959.

As part of a school project, two researchers at Stanford University used a computer β€” and a lengthy questionnaire β€” to match 49 couples together, and to some success at that.

Fast forward three decades to when Andrew Conru created Web Personals, arguably the first online dating site, and the rest is history.

These innovations are what paved the way for the apps we use today.

What these researchers did preceded the dating perks we're used to today, but technology has condensed the lengthy, tedious questionnaires of the past into a more simplistic algorithm that measures compatibility as well, if not more accurately, than before.

Forget friends meddling in your love life. Forget leaving your dating success to chance. Online dating platforms are the matchmakers you should trust to help you find love. And when you use online tools to vet your online matches, it can help you feel confident that whoever you're talking to could actually be your future soulmate and not a criminal, scammer, or manipulative person.

Yet, even with more accurate algorithms, access to a larger pool of people, and a more streamlined process, there has always been one issue that has been resolute in the industry from the start: these capabilities still rely so heavily on human-interference to determine what constitutes a 'good match.' But as online dating platforms evolve, they're relying less on humans and more on cutting-edge technology to better predict matches.

Here's why this is great for users:

The Artificially Intelligent Matchmaker

We're seeing more widespread adoption of AI across various industries, but some online dating sites, like eHarmony, have been perfecting their artificial intelligence services for years. Their first goal was to improve the accuracy of their matches, but then they began concurrently developing ways to gently encourage their users to actually go out and meet with the people they've matched with online.

But over time, AI has become even more nuanced and online dating platforms have begun using this tech to take their services to an entirely new level. This new concept is the Artificially Intelligent Matchmaker, or AIMM, which guides users through the entire online dating journey.

It not only sends you better matches, but it gives you tips for how to spark up a conversation. And users are encouraged to provide feedback so the software can become even more refined.

AIMM is like hiring a dating coach, but without the financial commitment and awkwardness of working with a real person.Β 

Virtual Reality Dating

The world is more interconnected today than it's ever been before. Through social media outlets like Snapchat and TikTok, we're able to watch glimpses of other people's lives as if we were right there with them. This was once revolutionary, but virtual reality has made it possible to actually share the same digital space with others, whether they're friends or strangers from across the globe.

VR has redefined the very concept of social connection, and that is now starting to trickle into the online dating space. Communicating through text or social media helps you get to know someone better, but imagine being able to go on a 'virtual' date with someone before you meet them in person for the first time. VR dates are gradually becoming as personal and intimate as the real thing.Β 

But unlike traditional dates, VR offers possibilities beyond your wildest imagination. Everything is customizable, from the setting of your date to the activity you choose to do.

You can sip wine in Paris, or you can sit waterfront in a tropical location of your choosing. You can watch your favorite band in concert, or you can take a trip to the movies. Anything is possible.

Planning your first virtual date with an online match will now be just as important as planning your first in-person date with a crush once was. And Lindsay Portnoy, educational psychologist, believes forming a romantic connection is even more powerful thanks to VR.

She says: β€œThe ability to engage users through multiple senses, communicate from the safety of your own space, and the capacity to hear, see, and maybe even feel your partner in a virtual space are some of the many reasons why virtual reality may be the future of dating and love.”

DNA-Based Matches

All online dating platforms exploit algorithms that use your background, your interests, and your dating preferences to set you up with your perfect match. Some are even starting to use facial recognition software. But there are some sites, like Pheramor, that take swiping quite literally.Β 

Through platforms like Pheramor, users purchase DNA test kits and send their cheek swab samples back to the company, who then use this information to match you with other users on the platform that they believe are the most genetically-compatible with you.

This sounds a bit more futuristic than the other technologies online dating sites and apps use, but it's only because it's one of the newer concepts to hit the industry. While it's still in its early stages of adoption, matching soulmates based on their genetics is attracting a lot of attention around the world.Β 

One in ten Americans currently use online dating platforms to find love. While these platforms have helped connect singles with the person who they will spend the rest of their lives with, technology can't just rely on humans as the middlemen in determining what constitutes a 'good match.'

As tech continues to evolve, more people will be able to successfully find love faster than ever before. And I can't imagine a better world to live in.

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@jeffreytinsleyJeffrey Tinsley

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Jeffrey Tinsley is Founder & CEO of MyLife.com, which helps individuals protect themselves online.

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