30% of Tinder users are married people.
Enough has been said about the dangers of AI; I want to throw a light on something else. AI can not only disrupt professional life but personal as well.
I propose a hypothetical company – Lure. Lure uses AI to help you find dating partners. It has an objective function – maximise profits. Paradox – if people actually find a life partner through your service they will stop the subscription. But if you make them keep coming for more – keep them interested enough – you can increase CLV(Customer lifetime value). Hence Lure’s algorithm starts recommending people whom you will like instantly but will have a breakup eventually. It will also understand from its data of married users(have high CLV) that it’s extremely lucrative to lure married people. Company’s strategic team figures out they can add more value to their service and expand the market segment by helping these married people file a divorce too. Hence they go ahead and make an automated system(1-click tax filing type) which helps you take divorce and find a better partner. But people just don’t take divorce so easily. They need an incentive or situation.
Hence Lure’s algorithm begins finding out targetable people from social networking data. It will look for married people showing patterns of relationship frustration from metrics such as likes, follow, chatting text and time spent. If a married man is sending friend/follow request to know/unknown(not having common connection) women, having too much conversation with them, likes their posts excessively, the emoticons used in their chats, the ratio of interaction with women/men remaining very high, it probably means he is cooking something. The text in posts and links read/shared also throws a light on what is he pondering about – there already exists algorithms to distinguish depressing content from non-depressing. Not to mention how much Google knows from your search and browsing history. Opening a website like Ashley Madison or having Tinder installed on your mobile while having status ‘married’ on Facebook confirms your immediate interests. Chrome knows you; Playstore knows you; Safari knows you; Appstore knows you.
If there is a way for Dating app company to buy this – it will – and use it to flood you with actionable adds and emails. It will add you to a list of married people in its database. The algorithm knows when you get free and send you an email just at the right time so that you can read it, peruse and take the next steps. In case a married man takes the bate and starts dating, there are 3 possibilities – you find someone better or you get caught or you fail to find anyone better. If you get caught, there is a high chance that your partner will divorce you – good for profits. If you find someone better, you file the divorce – good for profits. The funny part is your divorced partner is also a potential customer of the dating company. If you fail now, you can always try later – maybe the time is not right. Probabilistically, the current married life has fewer chances of getting better so there is even higher chance of trying the dating service later – Frustration will lead to action instinctively. He won’t even require enticing adds next time. He remembers the dating service and will come on his own.
So now the question is – is this a futuristic hypothesis? The fact that services like Ashley Madison exist is a good enough proof of existence of a niche market. The fact that Tinder keeps growing and is valued~$2 Billion shows what people want and what will be served. Some businesses exist because people want it while some thrive to create new markets with blue ocean strategy – Lure. Be ready when it arrives.
For more information on what Facebook understood about relationships from its data, have a look at this article.
An AI evangelist and a multi-disciplinary engineer. Loves to read business and psychology during leisure time. Connect with him any time on LinkedIn for a quick chat on AI!