Dating apps use artificial intelligence to help search for love

SCI-TECH

Forget swiping though endless profiles. Dating apps are using artificial intelligence to suggest where to go on a first date, recommend what to say and even find a partner who looks like your favourite celebrity.

Until recently smartphone dating apps — such as Tinder which lets you see in real time who is available and “swipe” if you wish to meet someone — left it up to users to ask someone out and then make the date go well.

But to fight growing fatigue from searching through profiles in vain, the online dating sector is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to help arrange meetings in real life and act as a dating coach.

These new uses for AI — the science of programming computers to reproduce human processes like thinking and decision making — by dating apps were highlighted at the four-day Web Summit which wraps up Thursday in Lisbon.

Online dating pioneer eHarmony announced it is developing an AI-enabled feature which nudges users to suggest meeting in person after they have been chatting in the app for a while.

“There is a lot of activity on dating apps but by and large there is not a lot of dates,” eHarmony CEO Grant Langston told the annual tech gathering.

“Guys don’t know how to ask, it’s astounding really how many people need help and we think we can do that in an automated way.”

British dating app Loveflutter plans to use AI to analyse chats between its users to determine their compatibility and suggest when they should meet.