In Japan, provinces are using artificial intelligence to marry their citizens. Like many Western countries, including Italy, the Land of the Rising Sun also suffers from a serious problem of declining birth rates and an aging population. In 2023, for the first time in 50 years, the number of marriages fell below half a million, standing at 489,281, in an area where 125 million people live. For comparison, in 2022, 189 thousand marriages were celebrated in Italy, out of a population close to 59 million inhabitants. In Japan, marriage is often particularly linked to economic and social stability, so much so that, as throughout East Asia, specially organized events are not uncommon during which the future spouses or parents go to looking for a potential partner. In the early 2000s, this tradition was digitized in dating sites and now the Japanese state is intervening by exploiting AI. An initiative that took root thanks to the pandemic, but which had its origins years ago.

How Japanese Tinder Status Works

Unlike dating sites and apps common in most countries around the world, in the Japanese system, it is not users' choices that determine whether they meet a potential partner. At least not directly. In fact, the data collected on users by the prefectures determines the twinnings. These include Internet browsing history, as well as personal information, employment, and descriptions that users provide when registering with marriage counseling centers. From what Japan Times, 31 of Japan's 47 prefectures offered AI-based soul mate search services as of February 2024. Other systems use data collected in hundreds of questions asked of those looking for love, cross-referencing them to find the ideal partner. In Saitama Prefecture, 139 couples have been formed using artificial intelligence systems since 2018. Even if the registration fees for these services are not negligible, around 100 euros for two years. The hope is to reverse a particularly worrying trend, especially in a country where opportunities for socialization are slow.

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