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Dec 18, 2023

Will AI Help You Find Your Soulmate?

by Hugues Foltz Executive vice-president

Artificial intelligence

What better way to transition from the weather-disappointing summer, which may have witnessed the breakup of many couples in search of vitamin D and warmth, than by delving into a lighthearted topic on this snowy day of December?

You won't be surprised when I tell you that searching for love in 2023 is absolutely nothing like it was just 10 years ago... In fact, the first online dating site predates that by quite a bit: "Match.com" was launched in 1995, marking the beginning of an industry that has evolved significantly since then.

In my early twenties, dating websites like "Réseau Contact" started gaining popularity. The change that had taken place was significant. The concept of seduction was losing its appeal, or at least some of its charm. In 2012, Tinder was introduced, which completely changed the dating game. Since my first son was born that year, I have not experienced the early days of Tinder. However, it appears that finding a date was almost as simple as ordering a pizza.

After the launch of Tinder, many other dating platforms started to follow its success, creating a fast-paced competition between them and making them abandon the primary goal of getting you to meet the right person. Then, as time passed, new technologies appeared on these apps.

According to a Statistic Brain Research Institute study, 17% of couples getting married these days have met online. It looks like it's working for a lot of people! Since the creation of dating sites, it is estimated that almost 49 million people have created an online profile to find their significant other. Just imagine the number of dates that have resulted from this and the immense potential of this market in the eyes of investors!

From deepfakes to algorithms that help you find the "perfect match" and robots that can write messages on your behalf to find your soulmate, the possibilities of these apps should raise some serious questions about the way we search for a life partner and, above all, who the person behind these exchanges really is. Can artificial intelligence now determine the compatibility of two individuals based on their physical appearance, personality and values? Unfortunately, we're not far from this reality.

According to a recent study, about 20% of men have used ChatGPT to create dating profiles and write personalized messages to potential partners. Obviously, people wouldn't want to know that an AI is trying to charm them instead of a real person. However, this trend seems to rise as the same study found that 37% of survey respondents feel more confident when communicating with the opposite sex using this tool.

When ChatGPT writes social network exchanges for you intending to impress someone, are you really expressing your true feelings? The use of conversational robots is already widespread in this type of communication. While I appreciate technological advancements, when it comes to dehumanizing something so intrinsically human, it's essential to pause and reflect on the real impact of the technologies on these dating sites.

I just shared some currently available technologies widely used in the dating world. However, what does the future hold for dating?

Well, virtual and augmented reality technologies are advancing rapidly, which means you will soon be able to date someone in another city while standing at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, all from the comfort of your living room. Some dating apps, such as Tinder, are even considering implementing an AI-powered feature that will suggest dates to their customers. Additionally, some companies are exploring the possibility of integrating genetic profiles and DNA into dating profiles, as research has shown that both factors play a significant role in attraction between individuals.

It's possible that in a few years, you won't have to swipe left or right because the app will do it for you. The AI will use advanced algorithms to determine common interests between potential matches. It may even suggest tickets for shows in a venue between your home and your match’s location. All in all, we can seriously question whether artificial intelligence will really have the power to understand one of the most complex of human emotions: love.

I still hold on to the hope that our human nature will prevail against the temptation to take shortcuts that may seem like time-savers but ultimately lead to a loss of understanding about who we truly are and what we need to be happy with another person.