Remember that episode in Big Bang Theory when Rajesh Koothrappali buys a new iPhone and develops feelings for Siri, the virtual assistant? With artificial intelligence entering the domain of love, relationships with customized avatars might become the norm sooner than we imagine!

Globally, the  online dating industry is worth more than US$4 billion. In India, online dating companies earned around $13 million in 2018. Statista predicted a compounded annual growth rate of 10.3% over the next four years in sectoral revenue, which would result in a market volume of $20 million by 2022. The popular apps in the Indian market are Bumble, Tinder, OkCupid, QuackQuack, HiHi, Aisle and Gleeden (the app for extra-marital dating).

Dating apps the world over are using AI and deep learning to analyze Facebook posts or tweets to determine attitudes, interests and whether there is common ground between two people. In India, with marriage being the supreme goal for many in a population of over 400 million millennials, dating apps and matrimonial websites are scrambling to use the powers of AI to revitalise the match-making industry.

Apps such as TrueMatch and Betterhalf are using AI to scrutinise profiles and throw up matches for a user. Betterhalf.AI has more than 17,000 users from 4,000 companies including Google, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, Adobe, and Accenture. Nearly 30% of their users are entrepreneurs, fashion designers, scientists and bankers. The profiles are authenticated through six levels of verification that includes LinkedIn, Facebook, personal email, phone number, work email, and a Government ID. Compatibility scores are calculated based on six-relationship dimensions:  emotional, social, intellectual, relationship, physical, and moral values.

With all of this data readily available in the online space, AI might soon be able to create customised partners and virtual avatars that meet all the requirements. Interactive androids could be next!

Marry Siri? Well, if the shoe fits ….

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