Made-in-Vancouver dating app finds matches using artificial intelligence
Ross McLaughlin and Lisa Green, CTV Vancouver
Published Friday, February 12, 2016 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Friday, February 12, 2016 6:47PM PST
Are you dateless heading into Valentine’s Day? If so, a new dating app might be of service.
The app, called Bernie, uses artificial intelligence to select your dates for you by weeding out the winners and losers. It bills itself as your personal matchmaker assistant.
And the app is designed to work with multiple sites like Tinder and Plenty of Fish using facial recognition software that learns to match your criteria. Once a potential date is found based on the preferences of the user, Bernie engages in a chat, asking a series of questions and determining if the responses are positive or negative to weed out candidates. A list of potential romantic candidates is then deposited into your inbox. That’s where you take over.
The predecessor of Bernie was Tinderbox. Twenty-six-year-old computer programmer Justin Long created it in 2015 to find dates for himself using the dating app Tinder. He was working crazy hours in the tech industry and just didn’t have time to meet women. Tinderbox was programed to know what a user found attractive so it took less time to find possible matches. It swiped yes or no for you.
But Bernie is a lot more. It works with multiple dating apps and once up and running will have the ability to seek out possible matches on numerous dating sites at the same time.
It uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition software to look at a person’s online dating photos to gather psychological clues about their personality. The next phase will involve analyzing the background in the profile photos. Long says you can tell a lot about a person by looking at whether the picture was taken inside or outdoors.
And Long is studying the human face in an effort to fine tune Bernie. He says muscles and wrinkles can sometimes be a reflection of general mood or personality.
Bernie went into Beta testing this week. It still has some bugs to work out.
Despite his efforts, Long is still single.
“I think what would be worse is to be in a relationship you don't want to be in," Long told us.
Long named Bernie after his friend from college who died from an enlarged heart in 2009. Bernd Dittrich, known as Bernie, was a quarterback for Simon Fraser University. Long says Bernie used to encourage him to go out on dates so he decided to name his app after him.