THE JOURNAL - Dec 31 - Dates are more accessible than ever thanks to apps. But it's no easier to find a fulfilling relationship. According to Feargal Harrington, who heads up Irish matchmaking service Intro and online dating site A Real Keeper, singles are getting jaded by dating apps. Intro uses a client relations management system – built for the Dublin company by a statistician – to track its clients and facilitate the matchmaking. But in the end, seven humans make a decision on matches, not an algorithm. Harrington says there is only so much tech can do. "I don't think there will ever be an algorithm that will ever work." One academic study from 2014 hints that the key to finding a soulmate could lie in our DNA. But even DNA and big data aren't nailed on to work, according to Harrington. That's because in his experience, the idea that everyone has a specific "type" of person simply isn't true. Harrington isn't completely sceptical about how much tech can influence dating, and based on the feedback he is hearing from clients, there might be even an appetite for virtual dating. A joint report between eHarmony and the Imperial College Business School suggests that VR dates will be the norm by 2040.
Mark Brooks: People have showstopper criteria, lifestyle preferences, and values that absolutely need matching for. Algorithms do this work best. Algorithms consistently win out when they're modeled on true experts and expertise to create expert systems. I think matchmakers do a good job of accounting for other facets of compatibility that dating services miss or aren't even capable of capturing.