Mathematician Chris McKinlay, fascinated by data analysis, used his skills to optimise his OkCupid profile. Initially, he set up 12 fake OkCupid accounts, using them to answer random questions generated by the site. He then collected data from the responses of the women whose profiles he liked.

McKinlay divided the women into two groups, based on their responses, and tailored his profile to appeal to each group. He crafted answers to the questions that both groups agreed on, while leaving the controversial ones blank. His new profiles matched the preferences of the two groups and he started receiving more compatible matches.

After sending personalised messages to the matches, he went on 87 dates over three months. On the 88th date, he met Christine Tien Wang, an artist, and they hit it off. McKinlay and Wang are now engaged, proving that a data-driven approach can be successful in finding love.

This method, however, is not without its critics. Some argue that it reduces the romantic process to a transactional one, while others worry about the ethical implications of manipulating one’s online presence to this extent. Despite the criticism, McKinlay’s story underscores the potential of big data in the realm of personal relationships.

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