More people are turning to dating apps to find a match, but one company is taking it a step further by using artificial intelligence (AI) to fuel a more efficient and personalized version of online dating, according to Lior Baruch, the co-founder and CEO AlgoAI Tech.
“Maybe it was a website in the past, now it’s an app, but it’s kind of the same,” Baruch told Fox News Digital of the traditional form of online dating. “You go into a website to type few details about yourself, they ask you a few questions, you answer them. You get either one, two, three options, or you see tons of options in front of you that you just choose from, like it’s kind of a meat market. If you’re lucky, you’re out of there within a month, two or three months. If you’re not, people can stay there for years and I’m not exaggerating.”
Baruch has been working in the tech industry for 30 years, where he started out as the coding pioneer for AOL chat messenger, but he has turned his focus to AI and the matchmaking technology he believes will have a cultural impact on the dating scene. While some critics are quick to call out online dating, especially when paired with AI technology, as unnatural, Baruch said AI’s matchmaking abilities will make things more efficient so you can actually spend less time online and more time meeting people.
“If you go through most of the dating apps today after 15 seconds, 20 seconds, you will get a pop-up saying subscribe monthly, three months, six months, one year subscription … And I can’t understand it,” he said. “Why should someone going to a dating platform subscribe for six months or a year?”
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Using machine learning (ML) and AI, Baruch said he and his colleagues wanted to use technology to improve the current form of dating. His team started surveying thousands of people about their experience with dating and they discovered people were frustrated with dating apps but hopeless because they felt like they had no choice in a technologically-driven society.
Along with its team of AI experts and researched psychometrics, AlgoAI developed an app that Baruch said asked questions beyond a user’s age, gender or location.
“We went deeper,” Baruch said. “We took about 1,500 different research [criterion] and we aggregated them with the millions of people that we asked to understand what’s really working, what’s a good relationship [and] what can we do in order to really find a match.”
He said AlgoAI Tech was able to narrow the data down to 20 predictors of what a successful online dating experience looks like.
“By asking questions, not once again just about what your hobbies are or your favorite color, but getting deeper into you and asking questions that … sometimes you have no idea what we’re really asking,” he explained. “We are asking you a question, but we really are asking you something else and we want you to know that we ask you things in order to know you better. Once we have all of that … only then we suggest a potential match.”
He explained that the algorithm can adjust its matching methods based on what is or isn’t working with the help of the app’s AI robot named “Lora,” who adapts a user’s experience based on their personality and preferences, as well as deep psychological and behavioral analysis.
“AI eventually is kind of something between a friend and an expert, because it has so much data from the books, from the research that we did and from the people that use the platform,” Baruch said.
Lora is “not just a bot that asks you something, you answer and then it gives you a few options out of that,” Baruch explained. “We understand what you’re saying, we learn about the way you behave, what you’re answering and then we can adjust either the next match or an icebreaker.”
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When a user goes on a date and comes back to the platform to share their experience with Lora, she is able to adapt and change her suggestions based on a user’s feedback, Baruch explained.
“We have a really sophisticated machine learning platform where we learn from everything that happens,” he said. “We don’t learn about you specifically and use that information against you or share it with anyone … We use that information to find you a better match.”
Baruch stressed AlgoAI’s focus on safety, explaining that none of the personal information that a user divulges to its AI bot is attached to their name and emphasized the choice people have in sharing as little or as much information as they’d like.
“During the onboarding of the platform … we mention everywhere that everything is between you and the platform,” Baruch explained. “You know exactly what’s going out, what stays between us and the reason we ask you anything is to know you better. If you don’t want to share anything, don’t share anything.”
People are skeptical of online matchmaking with many critics arguing it takes the humanity out of dating. This dynamic is taken a step further when users can communicate with an AI robot about the dates they go on, which Baruch said is a frequent and important internal discussion between AlgoAI Tech employees, but he suspects this opinion will evolve with time.
“40 years from now, when we tell people that there is AI [used by the app], they will have no problem with it probably,” Baruch said. “They will trust it 100% because they will know that [based on] tens of years of experience.”
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“The way we see it, we are not aiming to be the number one downloaded dating app or dating platform in the world,” he added. “Not at all, but we want to have the best conversion, the number of users find matches, that’s where we are aiming.”