FINANCIAL TIMES - July 31 - With the number of paying subscribers using Match approaching 1.8M, the company has had to develop ever more sophisticated programs to manage, sort and pair the world’s singles. Codenamed “Synapse”, the Match algorithm uses a variety of factors to suggest possible mates. While taking into account a user’s stated preferences, such as desired age range, hair colour and body type, it also learns from their actions on the site. Academics call this “dissonance”. Amazon uses similar technology to recommend new products for people to buy, Pandora learns from likes and dislikes to customise its internet radio stations, and Netflix famously offered $1m to anyone who could improve the effectiveness of its algorithm by 10%. Match began “weighting” variables differently, according to how users behaved. For example, if conservative users were actually looking at profiles of liberals, the algorithm would learn from that and recommend more liberal users to them. The Match algorithm is constantly at work behind the scenes, scouring terabytes of data and working to find possible matches.
by David Gelles
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