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Can An Algorithm Find Your True Love?

Dec 2, 2010

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Scott Cameron

There's an interesting piece by Alexis Madrigal in the December Atlantic that questions the Google search-like approach to finding love. The basic argument: Crunching data with mysterious algorithms is a simple and efficient way to find a restaurant down the street or the lyrics for a song that's stuck in your head, but is that really how we should make lasting human connections?

We're not going to stop using algorithms. They're too useful. But we need to be more aware of the algorithmic perversity that's creeping into our lives. The short-term fit of a dating match or a Web page doesn't measure the long-term value it may hold. Statistically likely does not mean correct, or just, or fair. Google-generated kadosh is meretricious, offering a desiccated kind of choice. It's when people deviate from what we predict they'll do that they prove they are individuals, set apart from all others of the human type.

You can read the full piece on the Atlantic's site.

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