“Love in the Time of Algorithms”: is it possible?

Dan Slater, author of 'Love in the Time of Algorithms'

Dan Slater, author of ‘Love in the Time of Algorithms’

Good news online lovers! Dating sites are getting better at predicting your match.

American journalist Dan Slater has found that the infinite form-filling on online means that dating sites have greater amounts of data which means they are better at creating matches.

Speaking on American radio this morning, Slater, whose book Love in the Time of Algorithms comes out in the US this month, spoke to online daters, dating system software coders and online dating businesses to gauge the success of this newer form of matchmaking.

In his book, Slater delves back into the history of online dating and for him, the study is personal. Slater’s mother and father met via a dating system prototype in 1965. He tells radio host Renee Montagne of how a questionnaire would get pushed under the door of dorm rooms at college and you would fill out the multiple choice. You would then send the form to the organisers with a few dollars subscription, they would put your answers through the computer and send you details of your perfect match – via snail mail.

Things have sped up since then. When the internet appeared in the early 1990s, Slater says online dating “felt like the Wild West of dating”. This, he thinks, is where the stigma came from. “It was scary,” he said.

Now the stigma is dissapating and online dating’s real advantages are showing through. “Online dating is so successful because it expands the pool so much,” Slater said.


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