Kaspersky’s international study on dating and the impact of technology on relationships has found that the majority of users positively perceive the role of smart algorithms in dating services – 44% of those surveyed in South Africa would trust the matchmaking choice of AI, and 65% noted that the recommendations of the algorithms fully correspond to their preferences.
This positive perception of AI, in general, is backed up by a global survey commissioned by ARM where 54% of respondents admitted that they were interested in using AI to serve as a personal companion or assistant.
Online dating is no different, with services using smart algorithms in order to help people find a match and recommend them suitable profiles. And more than half (55%) of the respondents locally agree that dating apps, in general, have made the process much easier. Moreover, 37% would only meet with matches who the algorithm recommends to them.
But it is one thing to trust recommendations and another to choose a match on the basis of AI recommendations alone. Over half (55%) of those surveyed in South Africa are unsure if algorithms can cover the entire complexity of factors that attract people to each other. Moreover, 26% find being matched by algorithms dehumanising.
“The results of our research show that many people positively perceive the introduction of AI into dating applications and that it can make it easier for many to find a suitable match. Smart algorithms analyse users’ interests, preferences, and swipes, to recommend suitable candidates based on them. At the same time, despite the benefits and possibilities of recommendation services, you should always be vigilant and remember that we cannot know for sure who is on the other side of the screen,” comments David Jacoby, security researcher at Kaspersky.
“If we are honest, digitalisation and its possibilities only change the search for true love and not true love itself. Technologies, such as artificial intelligence, make it possible to search more precisely, quickly, and easily. It minimises risks. And that’s important because dating apps are all about finding your perfect partner. That’s why we are so willing to let artificial intelligence help us. It does valuable preliminary work – right up to the first meeting.
“It’s no different in real life. When we meet someone at work, at a sporting event or in a bar, we also first check for similarities. And we usually pretend to be a bit more interesting than we might be. But how the match ‘feels’ in reality, i.e., whether the connection is genuine or artificial, whether the person is interested or bored, can never be truly deciphered by artificial intelligence and its recommendations. Nor can it tell us how the other person smells, laughs, or carries themselves in general.
“That’s why artificial intelligence and love don’t go together only at first sight. Algorithms may not be able to feel, but they make possible relationships that involve very personal qualities, such as empathy, openness, and emotional stability,” comment therapists Birgitt Hölzel and Stefan Ruzas from the Munich practice Liebling + Schatz.
“In our industry too, AI and apps are already on the rise in many areas. In the development of new sex toys, it is also the order of the day that toys are becoming more and more suitable for anticipating the needs of customers. People’s bodies, orgasms, pleasure, and desire are always different and can really depend on the mood. A toy finder, for example, which determines the perfect vibrator in advance, using certain algorithms, could support this process. For us, when inventing new products, it is important that there is trust in the technology, the material, data security, and above all, sustainability and lasting benefit. A button or an app that is used once does not bring any added value or lasting customer satisfaction. And we are always concerned with these points when we bring innovations to market,” comments Kristy Stahlberg, Head of Corporate Communications at Fun Factory.