Online computer matching services such as eHarmony claim that they have put together over 10,000 marriages in the past decade, and Internet dating is now said to account for linking up one in five couples so it would seem that romance has thoroughly embraced the computer age.
But what of computer matching? It began mid last century with the first basic computers crunching data from questionnaires posted in to early dating agencies. It was extremely simple and merely a processing of information task. These days, dating agencies claim complex algorithms will find your perfect match, but is it really that simple? A recent study claimed that dating agencies fail to use scientific data in their selection processes. “To date, there is no compelling evidence that any online dating matching algorithm actually works,” states Eli Finkel, the lead author of the study and a Northwestern University social psychology professor. Not to mention the inability of a computer to take account of pure chemistry or the randomness of physical attraction.
Is it true then that computers can mirror human intelligence but they still can’t find us love? Well, something they do is working for plenty of people – scientifically or not!