Tech savvy Japan move beyond Singularity and onto the future of Couple-arity.
Love is in the air tonight and as you make your wedding vows you turn to your bestman/bridesman that hooked you both up, grateful for the interaction but hold up it’s no human buddy, it’s an AI!
There has been a decade-long endeavour for the Japanese government to increase the birthrates of the nation with just 1.43 children per woman. To put that in perspective, it takes about 2 kids per woman to keep a population stable so it’s to no one’s surprise that Japan is facing an ageing population issue. For the solution, Japan has turned to the machines.
Not in the way of a matrix-like vision where human babies are bred in septic tanks and fed on the nutrients of their dead ancestors while suspended in a dream-like program but something alike to the Bachelorette’s and Bachelor’s counsellors. Except these experts' advice are generated by lines and lines of code.
In the usual prompt and logic-value driven customs, the Japanese people have found a more direct solution. Knowing that most births are not generated out of a marriage, they proposed to increase marriages and therefore increase more babies. Although there have been some government programs at matchmaking, it failed to take into account the personality and love factor. In comes the AI aspect.
Users of the new program would be directed to answer a few questions on their preferences, hobbies, values etc the kind of buzzfeed-like quizzes to find your Disney prince but on a more specific level. From there, the answers submitted are run through a database linking you to your future partner.
Currently, there are few prefectures that have something resembling an AI matchmaker installed but the level of cost to running it has a few people concerned. After a similar 2018-19 attempt was made with 15 million yen ($193,400 AUD) expense, only 20 couples actually tied the knot. Which was something since in that same year only 31 individuals actually got married, the AI matchmaking accounting for more than half of those saying their vows.
The government proposes to go ahead, attempting to get approval for the 2 billion yen (25 million AUD) budget that this whole love and baby making business will cost. The survival of the population calls for romance, goddamit!
Bio: Sidney Boen is an energetic 1st gen Indo-Chinese Aussie with a penchant for food. She’s going into her last year in her Bachelor of Digital and social media with her eyes set on the marketing world. Loving food and travel with a voracious appetite for media and writing, she’s always out for the next interesting read. Currently working as part of the ABC News program team and a contributor to UTS Central News.