Thirdly, the non-scientific media is becoming more and more active and outrageous and is mostly instantiated in the form of movies and series such as Black Mirror’s futuristic rendition of mandatory automatic partner matching experience.
Even bad relationships – that may take either 1 week or 1 year – reveal useful information, i
Netflix’s Black Mirror show is one of the most popular technological dystopias. It has been graded with an 8.9 out of 10 on IMDB – same as Pulp Fiction, for reference. Each episode illustrates an extreme scenario in which technology has changed and challenged our societal norms to an absurd degree. One depicts contact lenses that record everything, after which the video of happiest memories can be watched on a screen or even replayed in your head. Another includes a doll that stores the personality of pop singer Miley Cyrus and is in fact a mini version of her, with her jokes and charm and voice included – this doll then helps save the real Miley from a coma. Another shows a virtual reality video game in which cheating on your spouse is possible, even as your game character has the opposite sex – touching upon sexuality issues as well.
It is at the moment of writing the second-highest rated episode in the shows’ entire 5 seasons. In short, Amy and Frank live in a walled-off society where people are required to be matched into romantic relationships. All relationships come with an expiration date, that is only revealed if both partners chose to do so. A digital Coach (think, Siri or Alexa) collects the data from failed relationships and helps people find the ultimate compatible other. Amy and Frank met for just 12 hours before being paired off with others. After a few brief encounters, they realize they are in love and they rebel against Coach and the System.
What is new about the plot of the episode is the mandatory pairing of couples, made possible by the ubiquitous data collection of the omnipresent System. e. ‘training data’.
In another Netflix series, one-season French language Osmosis, a firm specialized in neuroscience promises a set of beta-testers that with a brain implant, they will find their true love. After finding said partner, should they choose to adopt the implant as well, the couple would be able to enter a semi-psychedelic heaven-like state of togetherness as soon as they touch a sensor under their wrist. Ultimately problems arise, such as couples breaking up and more dramatic plot twists.
Still, it is not hard to see how in a few decades as neuroscience becomes more advanced, there might be some people trying to bring this to life.
Advances in dating technologies may very likely be a future endeavor of many businesses trying to keep up with new developments, be it in terms of better product design and user experience, or in more far-fetched ways such as those from movies, now only fictional.
“We don’t claim to evaluate you perfectly, but we do claim to find someone who claims to fulfill your claimed requirements, exactly.” – OkCupid
And so, it seems OkCupid makes a great point – it admits that they can’t evaluate someone perfectly. Well, if you are not perfectly evaluated, then your potential perfect partner candidate is also not perfectly evaluated. Yet they claim that somehow these imperfections are evened out when the couple gets together? Unlikely.
When it comes to evaluating an individual accurately, it seems that there is more than meets the eye. As stated by Ayres in Super Crunchers, a competitor of eHarmony, True, uses the Myers-Briggs personality test in order to categorize its customers in the right box – one of 16 typologies, based on binary classifications of four traits – to use later in their algorithm. In the meantime, however, Myers-Briggs has been effectively debunked.