Algorithmic Love

Nieuws | de redactie
26 juli 2011 | Algorithms have conquered a field that was meant to be reserved for poets: love. Dating websites grow in popularity with millions of users. Sebastian Reck, a young researcher at the UvA, analyzes the social mechanisms working behind ‘Elitepartner’ and what these tell us about today’s society.

In 2008, a number of young researchers at the Social ScienceFaculty from the UvA created the Amsterdam Social Science journaltogether with a website to share their workand publications. Currently, four issues a year are being publishedwith the goal to give newcomers in academics a platform to exchangeideas and discuss their findings online.

Sebastian Reck, Master student of ‘International DevelopmentStudies’ is one of the contributors of this group. He recentlypublished on this  website his analysis of the socialmechanisms working behind ‘Elitepartner’ and how this describestoday’s changing values of society. The following paragraphs are anexcerpt of his work:

“ An Online DatingSelf-Experiment”

“Last week I did it. Following the example of millions of fellowcitizens, I finally registered with an online dating network. Well,not just any network. Rather, I chose to join, theself-proclaimed community of ‘cultured and sophisticated singles’.Why did I do so? Given the fact that I am more than happy to havemet my girlfriend almost two years ago, my registration might seemrather unnecessary, perhaps even unfaithful. No, finding my newonline love was not what I was after.

Rather, I was curious to learn about the origins’s huge appeal. Two issues were of particularinterest to me. Firstly, I wanted to gain insight into the workingof such an online dating platform. What mechanisms for makingpeople ‘find each other’ does it promise? Secondly, I wasinterested in the way people make use of this platform to constructtheir ‘online identities’ in order to make an impression on fellowusers.”

Klik hier voor het vervolg in het heleonderzoekspaper van Sebastian Reck.

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