Valentine’s Day is for many just a cruel reminder that they have not yet found the love of their life, their soul mate, their life partner. And let’s face it: finding that special person can be tough in 21st-century America. The village matchmakers are long gone, along with the villages themselves, and most of us are spread far and wide, without the traditional networks of family and old friends.
That’s why millions are turning to online dating services, which promise to use math and science to find people dates — and often more than dates, life partners. But how reliable are these popular services, and the matchmaking algorithms they use? A new and exhaustive study of these online matchmakers — and of romantic prediction in general — raises real doubts about these services’ methods and results. But this critique goes beyond eHarmony, Match.com, and Chemistry.com. It questions the entire enterprise of predicting lasting love for any two people who have never met.
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