Algorithmic search for a girlfriend

Mar 10, 2015

Sharif Corinaldi moved from New York to Berkeley for graduate school and was in search of a mate. However, after a bit of non-success with online dating sites, he figured a 0.0025 percent chance of finding a match, which meant about 400 messages sent before any success. So, he built a bot to browse and search for him. He accidentally left it running one night.

I fiddled with the model for a week, and it finally finished running late one Sunday night. Seated alone at a cold metal desk in my TA office, eagerly looking over these first results at 3am, I mouthed a silent curse under my breath. After arriving at realistic estimates for “female pickiness” (fem_Pck) and “creepiness tolerance” (creep_Tol), my model had determined I’d have to look through 600-700 profiles a night to have any hope of being exposed to Ms Right before she got fed up, burnt out and sequestered herself off in a nunnery, or at least got back with her ex. For someone who needed to spend every waking moment buried under an avalanche of quantum mechanics preprints, this wasn’t going to cut it.

Disgusted, I set the model to aimlessly auto-browse profile information overnight, and left the lab. The next day I woke up and found that everything had changed.

Corinaldi has a girlfriend now, after casting a very wide net.

Kids these days.

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