These 4 people are using Big Data to find their Valentine

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

These 4 people are using Big Data to find their Valentine

More often than not, we talk about the application of Big Data in the realms of business - focusing on how such technology can enable us to optimize our organizations or drive revenues.  However, we should not forget just how much this phenomenon will affect our day-to-day lives as citizens of a digital world.

Today, as it's the 14th February, we've asked ourselves the question: just how could data help us to find our Valentine? We've done some research online to see just how far people and entrepreneurs are going to bring techniques such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to find "the one". We've highlighted a few cases to see how data gurus out there are finding data-driven ways to the hearts of others:


1. Amy Webb: the online dating"hacker"


Amy Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute, was struggling to find the right match when it came to online dating - with the profiles she was interested in never replying to her messages. With extensive experience working in Big Data, she decided to build a model to categorize potential suitors - taking into account top-tier and second-tier traits. See how successful she was in the video below:



2. Kang Zhao: the man using Machine Learning to find love


This data analytics professor from the University of Iowa created a match-making system which uses a technique called "collaborative filtering" which looks at users' behaviour as they search for partners dating sites, as well as taking into account the responses they receive. The algorithm he created then suggests potential matches in the same way platforms such as Amazon and Netflix recommend things to buy or watch based on the behaviour of other users who bought those products or enjoyed the same movies. He explains his research in the video below:


3. Justin Long: Automating Tinder with AI


Vancouver-based software developer Justin Long decided that his friends were wasting way too much time swiping away on Tinder and decided to apply his knowledge from the world of AI and deep learning to find his match. After initially building Tinderbox, he eventually founded his own startup to bring his aphrodisiac bots to the masses under the name of Bernie AI. Imagine explaining that one on the first offline date:  

Justin Long
Figure 2: Justin Long explains the tech behind Bernie AI.

4. Dr Hannah Fry: Maths + Stats = Big Dating


Dr Hannah Fry has even written a book about just how important data is in finding love.  She explains how using mathematical modelling can explain everything from the possibility of finding a partner to the number of sexual partners we have in a lifetime - in her book "The Mathematics of Love." Her TED talk below is well worth a watch: 




So, as you can see - finding your Valentine may not be as simple as stumbling upon that special someone in your local bar anymore. Technology isn't just disrupting the way we work, shop or communicate and but also the way we interact and find love - potentially saving us a lot of time and heartbreak. But the question is, will this data-driven approach take the magic out of dating? Let us know what you think in our comments section.

Happy Valentine's Day! 

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