Japan is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) with funds to develop a program capable of matching singles — based on something called an "emotional quotient," according to a statement from a cabinet official, Japan Times reports.
Japan turning to AI matchmaking to pair singles with 'emotional quotient'
Japan continues to face the threat of depopulation, and is turning to AI to confront the generational problem, and AI is capable of matching a wider and remarkably smarter range of possible suitors, according to the cabinet official.
The novel feature of this method is that it's will actively disregard stated preferences of singles — like age, looks, or income level — in favor of what's called an "emotional quotient," a term referring to similar personalities, values, and emotional intelligence.
This project comes on the heels of Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government plans to designate two billion yen ($19 million) throughout the next financial year to lend support to local authorities who work to help neighborhood residents find a partner.
AI systems offer more advanced analysis of matchmaking data
Roughly 47 prefectures offer matchmaking services — with some already employing AI systems, according to the cabinet office, reports MSN.
North of Tokyo, the Saitama prefecture spent 15 million yen ($144,000) in the fiscal year up to March 2019 — and observed 21 couples tie the knot. Data from the Japanese government illustrates a 200,000 fall in the number of marriages from the year 2000 to 2019.
Human-operated matchmaking servies often employ standardized forms to collect people's hobbies and interests — but AI systems are capable of a more advanced analysis of such data.
Depopulating communities amid coronavirus crisis
"We are especially planning to offer subsidies to local governments operating or starting up matchmaking projects that use AI," said the official.
"We hope this support will help reverse the decline in the nation's birthrate," the official added, according to Japan Times.
In the time of the coronavirus crisis, it's often harder now than ever for single people to find the love of their life, let alone a practical partner — since even the spaces that aren't off-limits are at best peopled with masked faces, and worries of contracting the virus. Like it or not, AI may be the only way for countries like Japan to slow and potentially reverse the rate of depopulation before it's too late.