Japan will use artificial intelligence to match singles and bring them together, a cabinet official said on Monday.
Last year, the nation of 126 million people had a fertility rate of 1.36 — one of the world’s lowest and statistically unlikely to reverse its “demographic time bomb.”
To improve birth rates, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s administration will provide 2 billion yen ($19 million) in the next fiscal year to local authorities with relevant programs, the official said.
So far, about half of Japan’s 47 prefectures already have matchmaking services, some of which utilize AI technologies.
“We are especially planning to offer subsidies to local governments operating or starting up matchmaking projects that use AI,” the official said, according to AFP. “We hope this support will help reverse the decline in the nation’s birth rate.”
Current human-run programs in the country typically use standardized forms to collect dating information. With AI, more advanced analyses can be performed, theoretically producing better, more compatible matches.
Japan’s struggling fertility rate may have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the government has never enforced lockdowns, it declared a state of emergency and “requested” people to limit outdoor movement, according to Nippon.com.
Unfortunately, the country has seen a new surge in cases since November. On Dec. 8, it recorded a total of 2,756 infections, the highest for a single day yet, according to The Japan Times.
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