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Japanese firms adopt AI dating app to help staff find love amid pandemic

28 Comments
By Supriya Singh

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For Izua Kano, incubation director at NTT Docomo Ventures Inc, who has been involved in the service's development since 2019, the makeup of the pool of potential partners is the key to the spread of the app.

Just making a wild guess, but NTT Docomo received subsidies as part of the stimulus package for the purpose of "digitization" and this is where it is going?

The government earmarked 2 billion yen to support local governments' matchmaking efforts in the fiscal year that started in April, with the ratio of state subsidy raised from half to two-thirds when AI assistance is incorporated.

And the usual sign off with the all too many news stories like this: Your tax yen at work.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Oh Japan, when will you learn that a bunch of if-conditionals isn’t AI? Banded around as a buzzword way too much.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

For example, the AI engine might "coax a man to ask a woman out on a movie date or suggest he wait a while (to ask) if it judges that it's too soon to make a move," said Toyoshima.

So all Metoo cases that arise out of this can be blamed on the AI "coaxing" people to make a move.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

While there are dating apps across the world with AI-assisted features, such as figuring out users' preferences regarding a partner's appearance, Aill goen's approach is to focus on intervening during initial text chats, suggesting when someone should ask for a date and what questions to ask to facilitate conversations -- the kind of advice one might expect from a best friend.

What every employee was waiting for, some company snooping on your private conversations in behalf of your employer so you can get a girlfriend the executives consider suitable for you...

6 ( +8 / -2 )

"Dipping Your Pen in the Company Ink" is generally not recommended.

And with this 'App', the risk of sexual harrassment, stalking, and general abuse is likely.

But going back to the root of the issue:

**

Maybe the company(s) should review the employees' conditions and corporate lifestyle, before adopting a matchmaking service which will only serve to maintain the poor working condtiions.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Some lines missing from my earlier post - The Root of the Issue.

Promotion meant long working hours and Toyoshima was concerned about her personal life as a majority of women in higher positions then were single with hardly any time to pursue romantic interests.

"Companies want their employees to show initiative at work, but the truth is that employees are tired as a result of overwork and have no time for their personal lives," a factor that hinders the company's growth, said Toyoshima.

Fix this first!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Oh Japan, when will you learn that a bunch of if-conditionals isn’t AI? Banded around as a buzzword way too much.

It's so boring to realize that everybody thinks they can wake up in the morning, train a logistic regression model and think they are the new Alan Turing.

Unfortunately, the misuse of the word AI (for non AI code) and of data analysis (for lame excel sheets) is too widespread already.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This will be another IT failure.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

A quick fix. Right....

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The government earmarked 2 billion yen to support local governments' matchmaking efforts in the fiscal year that started in April, with the ratio of state subsidy raised from half to two-thirds when AI assistance is incorporated.

-Gives excessive subsidies to weak machine learning algo rebranded as "AI"

-Arranging problematic and surveiled liaisons exclusively in a corporate environment as if it is an advantage.

-Diverting public money in a pandemic when many people are actually suffering privation to a frivolous and useless project.

Looking at this, the LDP bureaucrats came to the decision:We can give all this public tax money to great Japanese companies! It's a go!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As others above have pointed out, having time OFF from work and being able to meet a potential partner would be more productive than a sad version of office grinder.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Always amusing hearing the word AI being thrown around, I'm sure you just fill out a couple of questions and then find people that matches those, but of course putting AI in the the proposal gets the funding :P.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

all you need to do is learn to talk to people on the train or to strangers instead of ignoring everyone around you and dividing into the iPhones.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

An American business would not entertain an idea, like this knowing they could face a sexual harassment lawsuits, only a desperate loveless person maybe

2 ( +3 / -1 )

and when a date is arranged, Ms could link her Alexa to chat with Mr's Alexa, thus avoiding all that pesky human interaction. ain't civilization greatttt! (^_-)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japanese companies working the hell out of some of their employees, how do they expect them to have outside interest, such as love, when they at office at all times of the night, even married workers do not have time for their loveless marriage

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Employers were worried about the mental health of their workers

give me a break. In which company would any boss be concerned with that?

here’s an idea employers, how about letting workers out, before 7, and not come in on Saturdays, so that they can socialize and meet people on their own?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

"Buchou, buchou! I think mine's broken! It said 'Your match is a Canadian kindergarten ALT/anime enthusiast.'"!!!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

You want more productivity and yet this is your answer? Maybe reducing working hours by eliminating all the unnecessary meetings and tea serving, then you'll see more productivity per hour. Instead of encouraging people to go find love when they are depressed, give your workers more time to spend on hobbies where they will be able to unwind. Love will soon follow should the worker be happy, or not because that's their choice.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Seriously. WTF is wrong with Japanese companies? What will be next, handing out discount coupons for love hotels in the entrance?

I guess thinking goes like: hey, we created this absolutely toxic environment where we bully you to death, but instead of letting you go home and have a private life we try to make our company more productive? How does that make any sense? And why are Japanese OK with this?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

To avoid "heartbreaks and rejections," it was necessary to turn to AI.

 "It is better to meet people after understanding them to some extent and knowing how much they like you,"

i doubt this AI can solve any of this... what they need is to understand that heartbreaks and rejections is part of the process of finding a partner and how to deal with rejection (i.e. how to separate rejection from self worth)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Welcome to monetary enslavement as we all know it’s not going anywhere and work life balance never gets better.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But who then does all the workload in those participating companies? Of course they will play all day long with that software and quickly become even more exhausted , tired and overworked.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This article sounds like one big "compensated news" story about a phony "AI" company barely three months old!

How much does it cost, how does it work, and what do people say about it? Oh, and please mention the company's name at least 10 times in the article? And don't forget to have all the companies currently using the system to sound oh-so empathetic towards their overworked minions?

Thanks for the "news". And here's your compensation!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

An AI match-maker sounds great to be honest. If an algorithm can pair me with someone I end up in love with, then it's a great success.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Overwork people, for the sake of capital accumulation, and then create "convenience" stores, which are mainly convenient for companies. Now comes some convenient AI dating app, so office workers never have to abandon their computer screens.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Basically, the companies are sanctioning everybody to "hook-up" to relax. Sounds like somebody wants to regain the "power of youth"! University 2.0?

Which ojisan/obaasan in upper management came up with this idea? Who has been complaining because they can no longer go to the hostesses/host bars?

Is everyone going to sign NDAs to avoid liability in sexual assault, sexual harassment, power harassment and stalker cases within the company? Or will they simply bully anybody who comes forward with a complaint? The flipside is some young ambitious employ looking to blackmail a few older idiots into a nice little promotion or a private benefactor for their lifestyle.

What happens when you are set-up with your wrinkly boss, but you are not interest because you think dating older people are gross? Do you get the option to swipe right or refuse?

How many apps in Japan are well-known for its functional reliability and sophistication? I have rarely seen both in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

*In all, about 800 firms and organizations across the country have signed up to the app called Aill goen, partly attracted by the fact that the pool of potential matches is limited to employees of the participating companies -- thus providing "a secure and safe platform," according to the developers of the service.*

Doesn't mean anything as:

.as far as users do, a company may have creeps amongst their staff

.as far as the IT environment goes, everything still depends on the app and the how serious about data-security the company of the app was

*The service is being provided as part of the package of welfare and benefits programs **that many Japanese firms offer their employees, which have already in some cases traditionally included financial support for workers who use marriage agencies.*

Currently, I am trying to switch jobs (and career). As such, I am definitely looking at sites where employees provide anonymous feedback on their companies. As far as the welfare and benefits package goes I've therefore seen cutting edge benefits such as:

.a clean office

.a department lunch at the year-end

."not too many" workhours (whatever "not too many" is supposed to mean remaining TBD though)

And we can now expect a dating-service. Great.

Well, on my side, I was more looking forward to something like a 401K or a certain amount of holidays, (free) use of a gym and such. Silly me...

Joke aside, I really think that Japanese workers should be a little bit more "ambitious" when it comes to how they are being treated at work...

Err...

*But for employees, Aill goen is a much cheaper option. It costs 6,000 yen per month, with some companies shouldering all or part of the monthly fee.*

...If the app is a part of the welfare and benefits package, why does it sound like the employee is to shoulder a part if not all of the cost...??? Is this the new generation of perks: stuff you don't need and is being invoiced to you???

About a dozen Kyukeiren member companies have introduced the service to their employees, with some through their labor unions.

Ooookay, so from now on are the yearly Shuntos not to be about higher salaries anymore but an increase in young and cute employee using the app (for male employees) and less dicks using the app (for female employees). Cool.

Aill goen's approach is to focus on intervening during initial text chats, suggesting when someone should ask for a date and what questions to ask to facilitate conversations 

Joke aside, I am sure "intervention" or "guidance" is where AI will be going from now but why do I feel like the AI is trying to hit the sack with my date! lol

Err...

Promotion meant long working hours and Toyoshima was concerned about her personal life as a majority of women in higher positions then were single with hardly any time to pursue romantic interests.

"Companies want their employees to show initiative at work, but the truth is that employees are tired as a result of overwork and have no time for their personal lives," a factor that hinders the company's growth, said Toyoshima.

...The app may help out with kinky chatting or possibly even "hit it" with your dream guy/girl but it not going to do anything for your rotten work-life balance...Oh well, who needs a life anyway?

Aill's service comes both amid a boom in use of online dating services and increased central government financial support for municipalities mobilizing AI and big data for marriage assistance amid the declining birthrate in the country.

The government earmarked 2 billion yen to support local governments' matchmaking efforts in the fiscal year that started in April, with the ratio of state subsidy raised from half to two-thirds when AI assistance is incorporated.

Your (and my) taxes at work...I was looking more at education, (critical) infrastructure, welfare, pension. Oh well, can't win 'em all...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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