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Match.com Launches Facebook’s First Chatbot ‘Dating Coach’

Match.com
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Match.com Chatbot Laura

In Her, Spike Jonze's 2013 romantic science fiction film, a man falls in love with an intelligent computer operating system voiced by Scarlett Johansson. The concept is futuristic, but feels increasingly less so by the day. With the introduction of Lara, a new Facebook chatbot from Match.com, the reality of Her is closer than ever.

Lara is designed to help singletons navigate the tricky world of dating in the digital age. Via the Facebook Messenger app, the bot uses contextual understanding and speech recognition to provide advice and guidance.

"Throughout a casual conversation, Lara will ask for some personal details, including age, location and sexual preference before inviting users to set up a Match account, all without leaving Messenger," explained Match.com in a press release.

Once the initial setup is complete, Lara will continue the conversation to help users find singles with interests similar to their own. The bot’s speech is designed to mimic a real human’s speech as much as possible, to fully optimise her role as your digital dating coach.

"Lara is not restricted to answering closed questions and can engage with singles in a natural way," said Match.com. "Thanks to Match members' detailed profiles, she can analyse up to 50 categories of criteria, including astrological signs, people's imperfections and hobbies, and in doing so becomes a real dating coach."

Lara was first launched in France in 2016. It’s now rolling out to users in the UK, though of course it’s limited only to members of Match.com’s monthly subscription. If it finds success in its new home, it’s safe to assume it will continue to launch in other countries.

"We're always looking to find new and convenient ways for people to meet; whether that's through the mobile app, our events programme or now, Lara," said Abbie Oguntade, the VP for the Northern European Hub at Match.

"With Messenger being used by over one billion users worldwide and now a big part of people’s everyday lives, developing the first dating bot has been a priority for us to make finding a date easier for singles wherever they are.”

Match.com isn’t the only company to delve into the world of chatbots on Facebook Messenger. There are e-commerce bots, news bots, sports bots, bots to keep traders up-to-date on the latest financials, bots to give Netflix recommendations, bots to translate languages, bots to make travel reservations, and even bots to generate memes.

It’s 2017, so why not enlist artificial intelligence to help you find love?

For more about the dating services you can read our Match UK review our our Match.com review.