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Author of “Love in the Time of Algorithms,” Dan Slater is the product of one of the first computational matchmaking services, Contact, Inc.The now defunct service debuted in 1965 with a computer algorithm that paired couples in the Boston area together for dates.He writes in his book about digital matchmaking counterparts, old and new such as the “29 dimensions of compatibility” used by e Harmony or the percentage of “match,” “friend” or “enemy” on OKCupid.None of those sites rely on human curation for the date set up, however.It sends your info off to an assigned “fixup specialist.” This is an actual human that looks at your pics, your profile, your preferences and, just like a good dating doyenne, sets you up on a blind date with someone they think you’ll mesh with.They coordinate the date, time and location for you two to meet and then let Cupid do the rest.Press clocked Project Fixup beta users at getting a date in less than 12 minutes.
“If you want to meet someone in person who shares your love of Tech Crunch on a Tuesday night at a bar in your neighborhood, Project Fixup is the easiest and best way to do that.” It’s also not the first attempt at digital matchmaking.
Fixup specialists set the date, time and location for you, but it’s up to you to pay for the date.
Project Fixup is offering free matches to the first 500 people to join in the San Francisco area.
But, according to Press, at least 30% of participants wanted a second date with their match.
But then, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that 35% of those married from 2005 to 2012 met online before entering into a relationship.
“We heard the rumors all the way in Chicago about the challenging dating scene over in SF,” says Press.