In-home virtual assistants and robots will soon become love gurus and help people find “the one” in their search for the perfect partner, a new study has predicted.
In the not-too-distant future, assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home will be able to predict sexual chemistry and tell you if your relationship is on the rocks, say experts.
A new report – called the Future of Dating – says the in-home listening devices could accurately predict the fate of three in four relationships in just a few years.
The latest research shows that by 2025 each person’s genetic code, backed up by physiological data from wearable tech, will be used to predict sexual chemistry between singles.
The Future of Dating report from Imperial College Business School, London, and online dating website eharmony considers what impact artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will have on love and relationships over the coming years.
It says that in the next two to three years, in-home listening devices such as Alexa and Google Home could predict with 75 per cent accuracy the likelihood of your relationship or marriage being a success.
Robots and virtual assistants will provide relationship advice and counselling, it is predicted.
Based on detailed analysis of society, health and demographic data – the three key findings from the fourth annual iteration of the Future of Dating Report were:
The report first considered the role of sexual chemistry. It found that by 2025, matches between singles will be made in labs, based on analysis of vital statistics and each person’s unique genetic code.
Scientists are already working on advanced ways to measure sexual attraction through close monitoring of vital statistics.
Examples include monitoring for increased heart rate or blood pressure, tracking movements from wearable technology including eye contact or frequency of touch and verbal communication patterns such as the usage of ‘we’ instead of ‘I’.
These readings will be combined with further analysis of Major Histocompatibility Complex (MCH) genes. MCH genes are fundamental in mate choice and preference, and present models suggest that the more diverse these genes are the better the match.
Within a decade, continued refinement will allow experts to pinpoint a sexual connection between strangers, without them ever having met.
Listening for trouble
The report suggests that by 2021 domestic digital assistants such as Alexa or Google Home could predict the health of marriages with 75 per cent accuracy via acoustic analysis of verbal communication between couples.
When an argument breaks out, robots could even intervene with suggestions of a resolution.
Prateek Jain, senior vice president of technology at eharmony, said: “Eharmony subscribers can already use Alexa to review their daily matches and communicate with other users on our platform. This is a perfect example of technology helping enhance human relationships in a trusted environment.
“It’s also entirely possible that as technology evolves further virtual assistants combined with compatibility matching systems – such as ours – will not only help singles pinpoint their most compatible matches, but act as a therapeutic resource within a relationship.”
There is no doubt that robots will continue to have an impact on dating and relationships.
One of the most widely discussed uses is for sexual gratification. In this case, it’s not technological progress hindering the process but societal acceptance.
However, if interest and uptake remain strong and public opinion is more progressive, we could see a fundamental shift by 2050. With physical needs pushed right down the hierarchy, household set-ups will continue to diversify.
Be it an increase in singles living in communal facilities or a surge in “friendship households”.
Machine learning and the “perfect” profile
Finally, the report explored how technology will better aid success in online dating. Most dating services – including eharmony – use AI and machine learning to filter possible matches by analysing self-reported feelings as well as behavioral data captured by wearable tech. In the future, more focus will fall on the latter.
This means that data captured by smart devices could automatically be added to online dating profiles if artificial intelligence deems that it helps confirm a “desirable” trait. For example, it could scan and add Fitbit data, knowing that users who work out regularly tend to receive more messages.
Mr Jain added: “Human expertise and the role of AI are seen as complementary rather than contradictory at eharmony. Our Premium service where ‘human experts’ give advice on subscribers’ profiles and communication histories is a great example of this.
“And it’s important to remember that while the future of dating might seem intimidating to some, it’s realistically going to make online dating a more seamless and empowering experience.”
Continued progression in behavioral modelling also suggests that the advanced analysis of 100 random pictures could soon be enough to paint a detailed – and more accurate – online profile than a user could on their own.
It would work by scoring each random photograph and building a comprehensive overview of the person involved. For example, someone may not think to mention they are an animal lover, but machine learning could presume this if multiple images contained pets.
All these improvements will better facilitate the matching stage, however technology will also help improve face-to-face connections. For example, AI will give each date the best possible chance of success by monitoring, in real time, exciting activities within a set radius and prompting singles to get involved, have fun and bond.
Aparna Sasidharan, the MBA graduate who compiled the report said: “With AI, online dating version 3.0 is upon us. While traditional algorithms were limited to recommending profiles, these days they can predict compatibility, enhance dating experiences and help manufacture chemistry.
“But in another decade we could be seeing revolutionary changes with dating apps moving to continuous relationship coaching or marriage counselling as well as improving relationship health and helping people project a more attractive persona.
“AI is changing our perceptions of love and relationships and could play a significant role in shifting familiar societal approaches to finding love.”
Dr Paolo Taticchi, Principal Teaching Fellow at Imperial College Business School added: “Our report shows that the dating industry could be transformed in the next 10 years as a result of social media, artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
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