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Japan boosts AI funding to match lonely hearts

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By TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA

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Japan is seeking to boost its flagging birthrate by funding the use of artificial intelligence to help match lonely hearts, an official said Monday.Although it might not conjure thoughts of romance, AI tech can match a wider and smarter range of potential suitors, the cabinet official told AFP.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government plans to allocate two billion yen in the next fiscal year to back local authorities that run schemes to help their residents find love, he said.

The Tinder algo is not good enough?

More corporate welfare for a probably Dentsu funded machine learning startup?

Anything not to address the economic pain wrought by decades of LDP neoliberal policies hurting Japanese families.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Matching people alone is not enough Suga...people are not comfortable with getting into relationships in general.

Productivity being king over everything else leaves men working long, unreasonable hours to the point that men have no time for committed relationships.

Women have to choose between a career and a family. Many women want both but they have to sacrifice their career in order to have a family. So many women opt out of relationships altogether.

Then there is the fact that seishain work is disappearing, resulting in people feeling less stable. Thus less inclined to getting into long term relationships.

Suga has his heart in the right place on this, but he is clearly missing key information as to why Japan has so few babies and couple getting hitched each year. Simply matching people is not enough.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

It's pointless if the government's ultimate goal is to push up the number of babies and birthrate.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Matching apps are not the best solution to this problem. Trying to find a match for someone based on his favorite pet or best movie will not build a stable, long term relationship. Matching apps are made mainly for one-night stands.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

So instead of solving the well described problems that make couples refraining from having kids, more money is wasted in trying to make more couples... that will remain childless because the problems are still unsolved?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Or teaching people proper social skills and how to interact with the opposite sex while they are growing up? No, because that would distract them from their “studies”

12 ( +13 / -1 )

The private sector already does a very job of this, I know several couples of here who met thru commercial services.

Around half of the nation's 47 prefectures offer matchmaking services

Are these the same prefectural govts who routinely go begging to Tokyo for money, claiming they need subsidies just to keep their most basic services running?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

There is no AI in these products. They are simple programming logic and algorithms that a high school kid can make.

It's ridiculous.

"Ooooh, it's AI!"

18 ( +18 / -0 )

This country is so lost. Always with the NEW and FUTURISTIC looking solutions. Just give people the time to socialise and some financial security to settle down. NOONE needs this this "AI" matching nonsense. Another glitzy solution to a problem that can be solved in a much simpler, much more efficient way.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Falling in LOVE in Japan means giving an OPEN CHECK to a "so called partner", if you got the $ then go for it.

Almost all are looking for something out of a ""partner"" and has NOTHING to do with LOVE, LOL.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government plans to allocate two billion yen in the next fiscal year to back local authorities that run schemes to help their residents find love, he said.

2 billion...mind boggling pork....Yoshi, I,ll create a website for a bargain price of 1 billion for ya, I,ll even return 20% in the obligatory envelopes to the oyajis and vote LDP, deal?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

How exactly is this going to help with the lack of Hoikuen places in central Tokyo?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

21st century arranged marriages woo!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Once they get matched up by AI, how are they going to talk to each other with limited communication skills? Awkward. You can thank an archaic ‘rote learning’ education system that drills out self expression for that one.

The ball has been dropped for way too long on so many fronts that these daft token efforts is all they can come up with. Of course AI will solve their demographic woes... Just shows that incompetents spend their entire lives trying to avert attention in ridiculous ways. Trying hard not to become a cynic, but these fertility plans designed by the architects of the lost decades are indeed a joke. Lost in space!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

No doubt another area of Dentsu expertise. What should we do without them

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Anything not to address the economic pain wrought by decades of LDP neoliberal policies hurting Japanese families.

Point well made! Income for families has been shrinking for decades now under the "winner dog, loser dog" strategy adopted by Koizumi based on the bankrupt supply side fetish of the USA rightwing folks. How can you support a family on a salary of 3 million Yen per year. It is impossible and both men and women in Japan know it. If they want to improve the birthrate the LDP needs to create a vision for the future success of Japan, not the current year by year decline in wages and corresponding increase in poverty in the country. Of course the LDP is incapable of doing this. Suga cut the exorbitant mobile phone fees that the LDP allowed for decades, woohoo, that is the best he can do unfortunately. People are not having kids or relationships because they do not believed that in five years things will be better, no just the opposite, they know things will be worse off for them. Thanks LDP. Waste 2 billion yen on solving the wrong problem, the LDP is great at doing that.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Reduce the tax bills of young people.

Furnish government loans for the young to buy instead of renting.

Guarantee a minimum wage for a set number of hours.

Double pay guaranteed for work outside normal working hours.

Just doing some of the above would have a positive effect...

10 ( +11 / -1 )

So instead of solving the well described problems that make couples refraining from having kids, more money is wasted in trying to make more couples... that will remain childless because the problems are still unsolved?

Right on the money. Its not only about finding the right person but having right policies in place which will in turn provide the means with which to raise children.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

That’s only another misunderstanding of the translation. While love is ‘ai’ in Japanese, love is the opposite of AI. lol

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What's wrong with the typical Go-kon?

AI trying to match people is unlikely to work.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

AI trying to match people is unlikely to work.

It works the same, as long as nobody lies.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

AI doesn't exist (yet). They are using smart tech. That's all. Obviously the people who constantly misuse the term "AI" aren't all that smart.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Can I use AI sake to get subsidies for opening a bar ? It makes wonders for creating couples and bed activities.

Nothing better than to get physical contact, that's real life.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Leave it to a bunch old men who know nothing of relationships and who treat their spouses like crap to come up with an idea like this. You have to be able to communicate your attitudes, interests, and goals in person articulately to not only develop a relationship but maintain it in a marriage where kids are involved.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

@smithinjapan AI does not need to be a synthetic brain.

Most AI is very simple, and even the complex stuff is simple in its core. This is AI as we know it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Classic Japan, try to fix the thing in front of you rather than looking at the cause of the issue. Matching people won't make them have more kids when social requirements and restrictions make it so difficult to do so for many who would otherwise want children.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

For a whole host of reasons, countries should be encouraging their citizens to have smaller families. Breeding more consumers is just not environmentally sustainable. Good for pachinko, tho'.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Breeding more consumers is just not environmentally sustainable. Good for pachinko, tho'.

And for J- Inc.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government plans to allocate two billion yen in the next fiscal year to back local authorities that run schemes to help their residents find love, he said.

Thanks cupid.

And when are people supposed to go on dates? They have to get up by 7 and don't get off till 8 or 9. There's no way they are going to look presentable after that kind of workday.

Or are they supposed to go on their only day off, when they have to instead do laundry or run errands and are dead tired from the week and then just have to do it again?

And if by the slim chance they have the time, with what money will they go out on? Everyone gets paid slave wages while management make all the money?

In the end, let's say they somehow find someone, settle down and have kids. What day care or nursery school will they take their kids to while they work? Oh that's right, they are on the waiting list for the one or two schools in the area for the entire city!

Get a clue Suga.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There has been a lot more people working from home since this C19 virus took hold early this year, I wonder if this will have any effect on the birth rate, lets face it if the husband is at home a lot more and hes not working silly amount of hours, and then going out drinking with his work buddies until midnight, he might just spend some time with his wife.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My partners tax money is paying for people to have sex easier? I’m confused.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@Mark: I disagree. Both my relationships strted out great, but the second one with the knife issue caused it to peter out. Second has been fabulous. Wonderful partner.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What is needed is obvious, Go To Date. The government should fund dating in the same way it funds travel and eating.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Women want a man who has money and working for a major corporation as a seshain.

Many young people live from hand to mouth.

I once had a J lady friend who never wanted to live with me because I wasn't a seshain at a famous company.But when I got the job,she immediately started making arrangements of moving in with me.

Money talks.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

My mistake. First one with the knife issues. Sorry for confusing the readers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The centre of sad sad people. Good lord!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Women want a man who has money and working for a major corporation as a seshain.

Human beings are capable of pairing up with someone they love but partnerships are generally driven by the need to provide the basic needs for survival and expectations based on life experience. Women and men will seek to obtain the best provider possible- that’s Darwinism. AI or matchmaking services will not make much difference in the long run.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Which snout is getting fed from this particular trough?

All this is a waste of time and money unless Japan addresses the social, cultural and economic barriers to people having children.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nothing will change as long as the men in Japan can buy love dolls that won't argue with them and don't require giving them their salaries.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Reduce the tax bills of young people.

Furnish government loans for the young to buy instead of renting.

Guarantee a minimum wage for a set number of hours.

Double pay guaranteed for work outside normal working hours.

Just doing some of the above would have a positive effect.

Very good response in the midst of so much anti-japan moaning crybbs..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Obviously they don't think that getting employers to hire more full-time workers, cut working hours and be more supportive of working mothers, and lowering the costs of childcare and education will do much good. Or they're too lazy and timid to offend vested interests and enact any meaningful change, and prefer blue-sky gimmicks that will do no good whatsoever.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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