SINGAPORE, 8 June 2018 – Viola.AI, the blockchain-powered dating and relationships AI has announced its strategic partnership with AI Singapore, a Singapore government initiative to catalyse, synergise and boost the nation’s AI capabilities, and Singapore Management University (SMU) to provide dating and relationship solution for singles, couples and married couples with quality matches, date arrangements, helpful relationship advice and recommendation of goods and services.
Viola.AI is the latest product by Singapore’s home-grown 14-year-old dating company Lunch Actually Group. Co-founders Violet Lim and Jamie Lee are leveraging on blockchain technology to employ a verification system that helps singles have the confidence that they are meeting genuine singles through real-time face scan, photo, and social media checks. The Viola.AI team is also creating an evolving smart Love AI based on the user’s relationship status to help singles find their match and help couples nurture and grow their current relationships.
In 2017, Singapore’s total fertility rate dropped to 1.16, the second lowest ever recorded. According to the General Household Survey, the proportion of singles in the age group of 25–29 age group has sharply increased from 51.7% in 2000 to 71.4% in 2015 in the country. And despite most of them indicated that they wanted to get married in the future, nearly half of singles in Singapore have not dated seriously before, based on the latest study by National Population and Talent Division (NPTD). The top reason for not dating was not being able to find a partner.
Violet Lim, CEO & Co-Founder of Viola.AI, said:
When we first heard of AI Singapore, we approached them immediately and was one of the first company to showcase our proposal to them. We are glad that they understood our BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) of creating one million happy marriages and they have been extremely supportive of our project. AI Singapore has since connected us to SMU and facilitated the collaboration. We’re very excited for the impact that this strategic partnership will have for Viola.AI to make it the smartest AI Love Advisor.
Viola.AI is set to revolutionize the industry and solve these current problems by creating a robust and holistic AI matching and recommendation engine that leverages on Lunch Actually Group’s existing matching model, database of more than 1.4 million users and their domain knowledge in the matchmaking service for the past 14 years. Lim added:
Our goal is to develop a powerful, more effective matching model which is not just key in giving singles better matches, but also serves as the strong foundation for developing robust advisory engine that can understand the complex relationship issues and provide appropriate relationship advice to singles, couples or married couples.
As part of this collaboration, SMU will conduct a research project to feed data to the personality match engine model that incorporates thorough review on spouse selection and family formation and lead the various focus groups and surveys on the sociology and technical aspects on matching.
The team at SMU will benefit from Lunch Actually Group’s 14 years of industry experience, and their in-house personality-matching algorithm for their existing online and offline hybrid dating service, esync. Viola.AI will also receive tremendous support in resources through experts and the AI Apprenticeship Program by AI Singapore and SMU to create a revolutionary, efficient matching engine.
Professor Paulin Straughan, SMU Sociologist said:
Despite the many initiatives to encourage more couples to get married and start a family, it is still tough for singles, especially in Singapore, who have high pressure to do well in their career, to find the time to meet and choose the right partner. There is also shows more to be done to help couples nurture their relationship so that they can continue to strengthen marital bonds, to better prepare for marriage challenges.
Prof. Straughan who will serve as the Principal Investigator in this project added:
The insights from sociological research that we will conduct will be essential in building the AI matching and recommendation engine, and help us better understand the singles and couples, and anticipate their needs. We expect the AI to be pro-active in recommending future actions based on users’ characteristics, needs and values to ensure a lasting and happy relationship. While face-to-face advisory remains an important aspect of marriage advisory, we anticipate that many will find it more convenient and conducive to have an AI platform that draws on a comprehensive database to provide ideal matches in a safe environment which protects their privacy.
The strategic partnership between Viola.AI, AI Singapore and SMU is an important milestone in AI Singapore’s cooperation with different industries in the area of AI development, research and education.
Laurence Liew, Director of AI Industry Innovation, AI Singapore, said:
We are delighted to partner with Viola.AI and SMU in this exciting project. Viola.AI is an example of an innovative product which shows that AI technology is here to change the game and puts homegrown startup like Lunch Actually Group at the forefront of the dating industry. We’re glad to be a part of it.
Images courtesy of Viola.AI