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If these tests cannot accurately measure that elusive quality called "chemistry," neither can the computer.

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With the vastly enlarged rolls resulting from mass-market computer dating came a greater number of complaints: "After the three dates the computer found for me, I decided to give up and let my mother find a nice boy for me after all." Or "My date, a Mr. One problem involved "matches" that obviously weren't, between clients totally unsuited to each other in terms of height, religion, education or age. In the early seventies the State of California investigated seven firms (actually taking one to court), while the State of New York instituted proceedings against another service.

Yet the largest source of bad matches was the information supplied by customers themselves.

One writer reasoned that Operation Match succeeded because the students were already partly compatible: all were attending institutions of higher learning, and all were participating in campus life.

Also, students are not in the same boat as the traditional "lonelyhearts." Coeds might go out on a computer-arranged date just for a lark, and those who found themselves paired with "undesirables" would be less affected by their ordeal than, say, a thirty-year-old "spinster." The people who used computer dating services prior to the advent of Operation Match were largely those who had been exposed to the day-to-day side of technology. Smith." With the increased popularity of computer dating, due to decreases in cost and widespread publicity, came increased public attention to its drawbacks.

ack in the sixties, "scientific" matchmaking was synonymous with huge card-sorting computers.

Today, that booming industry, highlighted by the spectacularly successful (and now defunct) Operation Match, is still with us-though in more discreet style.

The greatest concentration of early computerized matchmaking service users was among over-forty divorced females and near-fifty male bachelors.

It began at a Harvard University dance in 1964, engineered by two undergraduates.

This was "hardly the kind of thing you'd go through for a quick date," observed one computer matchmaker.

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