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Joel, who teaches at the University of Utah, didn’t seem surprised that machines performed so poorly.

“People agree to go on dates with people who have everything they say they don’t want,” she said. Attraction doesn’t play nice with preferences.” For example, her previous research has shown that three in four people will agree to go on a date with someone who has an undesirable trait they consider a deal-breaker.

Perhaps a meeting in the middle simply means a basic report card.

So maybe online dating services that use this kind of algorithm will have a tough time identifying two people who will find each other romantically desirable.So it makes sense that online dating services including e Harmony, Ok Cupid, and use algorithms to try to surface potential matches.(Although Tinder and other swipe-based dating apps don’t try to make specific matches, Tinder does use algorithms based on swiping behavior to identify people whom others find desirable.) But matters of the human heart are hard to predict—as psychologists Samantha Joel, Paul Eastwick, and Eli Finkel found out when they conducted their own speed-dating events.That doesn’t mean people should avoid going online to find a mate.“Online dating is still a useful tool,” Joel says, “because it identifies people in your pool. It Her words jibe with my online dating experience.

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