The Scientific Indian

Show me my true love, Computer

i-6348953ff7b7ec1a6163b1579973fbc8-johnny_automatic_cupid_with_list.png An eligible beebs reporter tries out scientific algorithmic superior proven and utterly amazing match-making advertised in some websites.

“The website then uses what statisticians call a regression equation to determine what sort of person I would be best matched with, according to my character and how that fits with historical data about other people’s relationships.

The company says it’s identified 99 distinct factors found in successful relationships. Another dating site says there are 29 – its mathematical match-making is based on research it says it’s done on 10,000 married couples. “

Allow me to explain further how it all works. The scientific algorithmic matchmakers ask you about fingernails, skin peelings, charitable dispositions, bath soap and many other insightful questions. Then they feed your responses into their God-like computer (whose identity is concealed and seemingly appears as a a dusty neolithic computer under the website admin’s desk). The God-like computer eats your answers along with a lot other answers by a lot other strangers. It’s called crowd munching, a law of nature espoused thusly: Given the penetrating gaze of a lot of silly people, even a blackhole will reveal its secrets. Along with your answers, a secret algorithmic sauce squeezed from plump marketing brains is added for taste. After a few hours of programmatic indigestion, the God-like computer farts out a match. Behold the retouched image of a hairy Russian sailor who has plugged into the grid via satellite from inside his smelly bunker in Siberia! True love knows no boundaries – geographical, national or aromatic.

There may be data and there may be algorithms but they certainly do not make a scientific model of the horrendously complicated and ever changing landscape of of personal relationships. Matching people using data and algorithms is, IMO, no different from random matching. It may be worse.

Dating agencies can do honest business by connecting people whose chances of meeting people otherwise may be limited. They don’t have to sell snake oil like this.