Contributed by: ElyseRomano Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 09:27 am
Black Mirror, the twisted British sci-fi anthology series turned Netflix smash hit, is one of the last things you’d want to inspire a real-life business. The show is notoriously dark, dystopian and disturbing to watch, with an outlook on human behavior and technological advancement that’s designed to leave viewers devastated. Despite its bleakness, Black Mirror is consistently praised by critics and has become a cult favorite for fans - and now, against all odds, it has inspired an enterprising Reddit user to launch a dating app based on a popular episode from season four.
Twenty-four year old programmer and entrepreneur Julian Alexander introduced his fellow redditors to Juliet, an AI matchmaker, in a post[*1] to the popular AMA subreddit.
“My friends and I were tired of all the dating apps currently on the market, endlessly swiping with little to no results. I decided to take matters into my own hands and shake things up,” he wrote. “Creating real relationships is a primary objective of Juliet, which is why she matches you with only one person at time based on compatibility. The catch is that she sets an expiration date with every match, meaning that you can only be with your partner until the time runs out.”
After each match, Juliet learns from the interaction to provide future matches with whom you are even more compatible. The process repeats until the AI finds your perfect match.
Reddit users were quick to point out similarities to the Black Mirror episode ‘Hang The DJ’ in the comments. The episode, which first aired in December 2017, features characters who live in a society where everyone is matched by an AI system that assigns each relationship an expiration date. The AI "coach" collects data from each failed relationship and uses it to help citizens find their "ultimate compatible other."
When asked whether he got the idea for Juliet from the episode, Alexander left an ambiguous but suggestive reply. “I’m a huge Black Mirror fan,” he wrote, adding a winking emoji.
Alexander was more forthcoming in an email exchange with Forbes[*2] .
"I'm a big fan of Black Mirror and the creator, Charlie Brooker," he said. “Black Mirror explores the world of technology and I find the role of technology in modern day life extremely important. That's why I wanted Juliet to merge technology and humanity."
The aspiring CEO also explained why he believes the app will stand out from the competition. It comes down to the limited time element, he said, which is designed to create a sense of urgency and excitement that will keep users focused on making connections.
"Like when you see someone you're interested in, you have to make a move or you'll lose your chance," he said. "Other apps on the market focus on a quantity approach, by matching the user with as many people possible with little to no compatibility. I wanted to focus on a quality approach, by matching users with one person at a time. With this method, people really get a chance to make a real connection."
Curious? Download Juliet for iOS at the Apple app store.