It’s a long day at work. You come home exhausted, but it’s dinner-time already. Your significant other wants to know what’s wrong. You meet them with frosty silence. We’ve all been there.
Some days, all you want is quality time staring into space without causing an uproar in paradise. It’s a recipe for disaster. The future’s about to fix that.
In The Beginning…
… there was data. Picture yourself. You’ve got a good job. You work out. You even have a special talent or two — your juggling skills make you a party favourite. Those hours spent gaming help you manoeuvre through Monday traffic. You’re pleasant to look at with a good heart. There are plenty of fish in the virtual sea. Time to swim.
The days of horoscopes and swiping-right are gone. There’s not much you can tell about a person from their sun-sign or their profile picture, is there? Even common interests disappoint.
Everyone’s been on a date where awkward silence replaces the exciting conversation you were hoping to have about classic movies. You meant Dr Strangelove, they meant Sholay, and seldom the twain do meet.
The future will be idiot-proof. All your apps already aggregate all your texts and posts. Soon, your options for the ideal life-partner will be determined based on these cold, hard statistics. If Twitter and Tinder had a love-child and fed it on Amazon’s data, you’d find the dating app of tomorrow.
Let’s call it the Matchmaker+.
The Matchmaker+ promises romance with mathematical precision. Its adaptive algorithms will recommend dating options tailor-made for you.
Worried about the family nose? They have the family hairline.
Concerned about your strange interest in model aeroplanes? Your dream partner collects pet rocks.
Everybody’s got somebody, after all.
Also read: The thing with feathers
The Big Date
You’ve asked someone out in cyberspace. The Matchmaker+ will take care of the rest. Do they have a pollen allergy? Dislike chocolate? Is it too early for jewellery? Um yes, and the Matchmaker+ will say so.
Smart-glasses will be passé — the Matchmaker+ streams information straight into your consciousness. It’ll guide you to demonstrate the right balance of humour and empathy, collating your date’s preferences, analysing their responses…
You: There’s this epic new show called Game of Empires!
Your Date: I hate gratuitous nudity and violence.
1. Agree completely (+25 compatibility)
2. Explain the show (+15 conversation)
3. Disagree strongly (-15 compatibility)
You: It’s got this really complex plot…
Today’s date enjoys an impressive argument. When it comes to picking up the cheque, you’ll know what they expect. You’ll even know if they’re in the mood so you can ask them back to your place.
Once the evening ends, you’ll receive a performance report, complete with your date’s rating. If all goes well…
Are Those Wedding Bells?
You’re in a committed relationship now. The Matchmaker+ features a compatibility program. It tells you when your significant other needs a sympathetic ear instead of an earful of advice.
It predicts your moods and desires, optimising your amorous activities and individual pursuits with machine-like precision. It helps you plan surprises — you pop the question in the French Alps because it analyses their dreams for you.
This brings us back to that long day at work. You come home exhausted, but it’s dinner-time already. Your significant other wants to know what’s wrong.
Matchmaker + Recommendations:
1. Recap the day (+25 compatibility)
2. Ask your significant other about their day (+25 empathy)
3. Ignore your significant other (-25 compatibility)
You recount the day. Matchmaker+ beams a script into your head, and all you do is follow its words. Your significant other is an excellent audience, but you don’t notice. You’re too busy staring into space. It’s a picture-perfect evening in paradise.
(Lavanya is a speculative fiction writer and game designer from Bengaluru. Analog/Virtual and Other Simulations of your Future is her debut novel)