Japan's population is projected to fall from a peak of 128 million in 2017 to less than 53 million by the end of the century.
But Japan has a plan to fix all of that!
In its latest effort to increase the dwindling birth rate, Japan is funding AI matchmaking to help its citizens find love/procreate.
A Japanese cabinet official said in an interview,
"The Japanese will begin offering subsidies to local governments operating or starting up matchmaking projects that use AI, in hopes that their support will help reverse the decline in the nation's birthrate."
The government plans to allocate 2 billion yen ($19M) to this effort according to the BBC article.
Many local governments already offer human-run matchmaking services, however, most only consider criteria such as income and age, and produce a result only if there is an exact match. AI technology will supposedly allow them to take into account other pointless factors like hobbies and values.
Not everyone believes that the issue is the ability to find a match, instead most (obvious) signs point to the countries policies and changing culture.
Sachiko Horiguchi, a socio-cultural and medical anthropologist at Japan's Temple University believes there are much better ways to bump up the birth rate than subsidizing AI matchmaking — mostly being to help young people earning low wages. A recent report suggests a link between lower income levels and loss of interest in forming romantic relationships among young adults.
Dr. Horiguchi told BBC:
"If they're not interested in dating, the matchmaking would likely be ineffective. If we are to rely on technologies, affordable AI robots taking over household or childcare tasks may be more effective."
You know, not every problem needs to be solved with robots...
Just a wild shot here, but maybe people being TOO attached to their devices already is why they aren't dating as much.