Dating Is The Latest Aspect Of Our Culture To Be Taken Over By Robots

by | Mar 7, 2019 | COMMUNITY

Japan’s new “robot speed-dating” trend adds a dystopian touch to today’s isolated, app-based dating culture. But hey, at least you can stop swiping.

Robots. They’re fucking everywhere these days. Airdropping groceries, stocking shelves, hooking up with Joaquin Phoenix… Our A.I. have come a long way from time-traveling motorcycle/shotgun rampages.

If the surge of tinder-style dating apps weren’t an ominous-enough sign of an increasingly isolated and alienating culture, we can now go to Japan and witness the next step in robots’ soft assimilation of our society.

It’s called “robot speed dating” — in which participants between the ages of 25 and 39 take part in what would appear to be a normal speed-dating scenario, except for the fact that participants don’t do or say anything. Working from pre-programmed responses, robots do all the talking, and find the best match for you.

The event was launched earlier this month at a hotel in Minato Ward in Tokyo, Japan, by Tokyo based Contents innovation Program (CiP), a company specialized in AI and robotics development, according to The Japan News. CiP executive director Ryunosuke Takahashi says the “robot marriage-hunting party” offers a dual incentive; integrating AI into the mainstream market, and helping people who lack confidence in their conversation skills find love.

“Robots can create opportunities even for people who aren’t good at speaking, and are proven to be an efficient method for marriage hunting,” Takahashi said.

Before the event started, participants answered questions on 45 different subjects; personal interests, accomplishments, favorite sitcoms — basic small-talk material. Responses were then fed into the robots who were positioned face to face with other singles and their corresponding bots.

The robots, which were shorter than the rim of the cocktail glasses, then began a three-minute introduction for their person before mingling it out with their fellow AI, all the while their human counterparts sat back and listened in silence.

A series of videos on Youtube show interactions from the event, which according to the CiP, was successful in pairing up several new couples.

“The person didn’t seem like my usual type, but as our robots talked, I was able to see that we have many things in common, so I’d like to go on a date next time,” said one attendee.

“It was easy, because the robot explained everything about me, and I didn’t have to say anything during multiple interactions,” one participant told the Japan News.

According to The Japan News, multiple participants said that by removing the pressures of forming responses, they were better able to focus on listening and learning about the other person. Participants also told the news site that the robots were helpful in unapologetically talking up their human counterparts.

The droids turned cupids were developed by Japanese media company Cyber Agent and technology manufacturer Sharp. Marriage-hunting events, also referred to as “konkatsu,” are believed to have become popular in Japan beginning in the early 2000s, and companies like CiP have capitalized on an increasingly socially phobic culture with robotic alternatives for the socially inept.

It’s too early to call whether the trend will continue to grow or stall out. Either way, it will probably be some time before we see robots lined up in Richmond bars. I must admit, though, an adorably cold-hearted, unbiased android listing off the ways in which I am fucking great I am, all the while I get to play it cool and shrug off the compliments sounds like the ideal wingman. Until then, I’ll guess I’ll keeping swiping my time away.

John Donegan

John Donegan

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