Valentine’s Day in the Age of the Machine

This video has been making the rounds, noting how algorithms can choose a mate for you on Valentine’s Day. It’s worth watching to know how love evolves in the machine age:

What bothers me about machine matches based on survey responses is the marketing aspect of partner-pairing, objectification on a grand scale. Even the photos, videos and other data on these corporate sites compel registered users to market themselves like products, and when they do, how certain can we be about the “truthiness” of those shared replies?

When I saw my mate for the first time, the mirror neurons–the ultimate algorithm synchronizing brain and heart–clicked, and I pursued her until we married. The real story is much more romantic than that, but this was the feeling and phenomenon. Does the same thing happen when a person peruses a potential partner on, or do we see images there through the flat-world lens of the smartphone screen, which captures a facsimile of reality?

So I wanted to know more about the latest news involving Valentine’s and machines, and found this post by NBC News, about asking Siri love questions and even possible language for the love card to a partner:

It turns out that Apple’s Siri is a big softie when it comes to Valentine’s Day.
Whether you’re looking for some love advice or want to probe deeper into Siri’s own love life, you can now ask the trusty assistant a number of love-related queries.

Okay, I thought, I would test it by download a Siri-like app on my smartphone, called Andro Siri. Here’s a screenshot of our Valentine’s Day conversation:


I’m not sure what I did wrong or how I offended the app in some way. Actually, the response was so vile that I can’t reprint it here.

Well, I might have checked the reviews before installing it on my phone. I guess human reviews–in love as well as algorithm–still can be trusted.


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