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  • How do you choose a date?

  • Whose company would you enjoy?

  • Well, one thing you can consider is looks.

  • Like everything else these days courtship has gone online.

  • Can that so-called science really find your soul mate?

  • But I've never been out on a dinner date before. I'm just scared to death.

  • Online dating is now a multibillion-dollar industry.

  • One in five dating relationships started online.

  • But is there really a formula for love?

  • It's 1959 and two electrical engineering students at Stanford are working on their final class project.

  • It uses a questionnaire and an IBM 650 to matchmake 49 men and 49 women.

  • They call it the Happy Families Planning Service.

  • There are no long-term matches but they do get an A for their work.

  • It was 1960s when computer scientists started to get interested in personal relationships and in particular they were interested in whether they could improve the efficiency by which people matched.

  • Similar small data-driven systems appear but in 1965, it's Operation Match that really starts to 'take the blindness out of a blind date'.

  • For $3 you can answer over 100 questions about yourself and your ideal date.

  • The answers are recorded on punch cards, run through a five-ton IBM computer and a few weeks later, you get the names and numbers of your top six matches.

  • Computer technology has moved so fast.

  • It matched on the basis of things that people had in common.

  • So religion, hobbies, attitudes to life in general.

  • And we actually know now that that's not the most effective way of matching people.

  • Six months after the launch, 90,000 Operation Match questionnaires are received, making the company $270,000.

  • In 1995 Match.com is launched by American engineer Gary Kremen.

  • And then in 2005 a group of employees at PayPal create a website where people can upload videos of themselves to try and get a date.

  • The tagline is Tune In, Hook Up.

  • It doesn't take off so instead it rebrands itself as YouTube.

  • Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.

  • It's 2007 and the iPhone has just been released.

  • Soon new dating apps start to appear.

  • Most dating apps are notoriously private about the algorithms they use and that's because they use quite simple ones.

  • And they don't have very much proof that any of them lead to better matching.

  • They don't really want everyone to find love on the first hit because then they'd all be out of business.

  • In 2017 around 40% of American heterosexual couples first meet online.

  • And by 2018 dating services in the US are estimated to be a $3 billion a year business.

  • Lots of people anecdotally are saying they're fed up of using dating apps but at the same time business is absolutely booming.

  • The number of users between 2016 and 2017 in the world doubled.

  • Even though there's on the horizon, the possibility of video dating and augmented reality for dating, none of those things can give you an indication of chemistry.

  • And you could only find that out when you meet somebody face to face.

  • That's still going to be overridingly the way in which people meet and fall in love.

How do you choose a date?

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Dating Apps Are Much Older Than You Think

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    Liang Chen posted on 2019/04/09
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