Japan is using AI to help pair couples and encourage them to marry and have families. (Source: The Pokemon  Company)

Japan Employs AI for Matchmaking, Analyzing Aging Sushi for Restaurants

Just when you thought you had heard it all when it comes to AI uses, along comes Japan with a national plan to counter the crashing population figures by promoting romance.

The number of annual marriages in Japan has fallen from 800,000 in 2000 to 600,000 in 2019. 

Finding the perfect mate is harder than ever, especially when in-person interactions are nonexistent due to COVID-19 lockdowns. But the Japanese government wants to help singles find a mate using artificial intelligence. 

According to Sora News 24, roughly 25 of Japan’s 47 prefectures currently have some sort of government-run matchmaking service for singles where the users plug in their preferences for a potential mate—including age, income and educational level. The dating services then provide a list of other users who meet their criteria.

However, Japan’s Cabinet Office thinks the current dating services aren’t advanced enough to help singles make lasting romantic connections. That’s where artificial intelligence comes to the rescue.

The new AI dating systems would work by having users answer more specific questions catered to their personal values on a variety of topics. The users would also have to share more information about their own hobbies and interests, like Pokemon in case they want to have a Pikachu-themed wedding.

Using this more personality-driven service (rather than just using age, income and education level as the main criteria), there’s a higher probability the match could lead to marriage, the thinking goes. One question could be about sushi preferences because AI is getting involved in that as well.

If You Knew Sushi Like AI Knows Sushi…

The next time you order sushi from your favorite Japanese restaurant, you might have artificial intelligence to thank, in addition to the sushi chef.

A popular Japanese conveyor belt sushi chain, Kura Sushi, is experimenting with an unusual menu item—specialty sushi made from aged fish analyzed by AI.

Kura Sushi uses an app called Tuna Scope, developed by Japanese advertising company Dentsu. The app finds the premium parts of a tuna and other fish by analyzing the cross-section of its tail using artificial intelligence to determine the freshest, most high-quality fish for sushi.

“Through deep learning, bulks of cross-sectional tail images and data on quality assessments conducted by master artisans, we successfully passed on this sophisticated Japanese skill to the AI system,” according to the Tuna Scope website. “By doing so, we made it possible to assess the quality of tuna anywhere in the world, simultaneously, with remarkable accuracy.”

And the vertical markets really could be endless when it comes to AI.

read more at cnet.com