Will Alexa Become Your Next Marriage Counselor
While it’s estimated that nearly 93% of soon-to-be brides use the internet to plan their wedding, we might have more tech to thank when it comes to making our marriage last. According to new reports, home listening devices, like Alexa and Google Home, might have the ability to detect common problems in your relationship.
These virtual assistants are always listening. Back in October, Amazon even filed a patent for a new Alexa feature that can detect when you’re feeling sick based on coughs and sniffles. The device could then offer medicines and other advice to ease your cold symptoms, like chicken noodle soup or aspirin.
The same idea is being applied to your relationship. Alexa, and other home devices like Google Home, might be able to listen in on the conversations between members of your household.
This was revealed in a new study between dating site eharmony and the Imperial College London. According to their research, Google Home and Alexa might be able to tell if you’re experiencing struggles in your relationship with up to 75% accuracy.
The report claims that it can help alleviate communication struggles between heterosexual relationships, in particular. This relies on the idea that men typically rely on factual modes of problem-solving, thus hindering emotional communication in the process.
“AI can pick up missed cues and suggest nudges to bridge the gap in emotional intelligence and communication styles. It can identify optimal ways to discuss common problems and alleviate common misunderstandings based on these different priorities and ways of viewing the world. We could be looking at a different gender dynamics in a decade,” says Aparna Sasidharan, a researcher from the Imperial College Business School.
Of course, this means that 25% of the advice proffered by the system will be incorrect. In some instances, it may even be harmful if the system suggests there are problems that aren’t even there.
Luckily, there are other ways to help improve the communication between you and your partner. It’s estimated that 84% of couples who travel together claim they communicate well with their partner as opposed to 73% of couples who don’t travel.
Traditional methods of therapy and couples counseling can also help bridge the communication gap between partners who aren’t able to see eye to eye.
However, the new study says that the AI can do more than just identify problems in a relationship. It might even be able to influence online dating.
“With AI, online dating version 3.0 is upon us. While traditional algorithms were limited to recommending profiles, these days they can predict compatibility, enhance dating experiences and help manufacture chemistry,” Sasidharan continues.
“But in another decade we could be seeing revolutionary changes with dating apps moving to continuous relationship coaching or marriage counseling as well as improving relationship health and helping people project a more attractive persona.”
The study also suggests that AI could be paired with genetic components to help determine the sexual chemistry and overall compatibility between singles looking for love.
If this idea excites you, don’t hold your breath: this chemistry matching won’t be ready for nearly 10 years, and even then, there’s no guarantee it can be used in a casual setting, like in the home or your local coffee shop. So far, no patents for Alexa and Google Home have been filed as of yet and the USPTO receives an estimated 500,000 patent applications every year, potentially putting this idea at the bottom of the barrel.
Luckily, some dating apps have already begun to use AI in order to recommend first date spots and more. In the meantime, we’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled for the next big trend in dating.