As a single woman, nothing puts me in a state like the Netflix dating reality show Love Is Blind. I become absolutely catatonic when it is on. The series, which encourages contestants to fall in love sight unseen, makes me feel amazing that I am single. I know that whatever happens to me, no matter how much heartbreak I endure in my life, I will never be as pathetic as the people who participate on this show.
Despite my superiority complex, I still spend a lot of time thinking about what Love Is Blind, which just released its second American season, has to say about love and relationships in general. What I find most striking is how the show is an extreme example of how anyone can fall in love if they let themselves. For the participants, the whole point of this experiment is that love is simply a choice that happens. The men and women court each other through a wall, the man proposes to the woman without seeing her — this is supposed to say something about looks not being everything — they finally meet, they go on a tropical getaway together, they move in together in the real world, and eventually they get married or break up, all within the span of a couple months.
One of the most fascinating things about Love Is Blind is how seemingly easy it is to fall in love. The cast members’ conversations in the “pods” (the isolated rooms where they have their conversations with each other) are basically repetitions of “I love my friends and my family” and “Wow, I have chills, that is so important to me, too.” It takes almost nothing for these people to choose each other. Which brings me to my idea for how to really take season 3 really over the edge: Love is Blind: The Imitation Game.
Out of the 12 men and women who participate on this show, the producers should make two men and two women bots that possess artificial intelligence. The bots will be programmed with highly sophisticated programs that will perfectly mimic the conversations that make contestants fall in love with each other. For example:
Man: My mom is the best.
Woman: Mine too. I feel so close to you right now.
Will these desperate singles fall for it? Will they unknowingly prove that AI is advanced enough to pass the Turing test? Almost definitely yes, as apparently all that these people need to declare everlasting love is for someone to say the right words in the right order.
The participants won’t find out they’ve fallen in love with a bot until they say yes to marriage. When those doors open and their sweetheart is finally revealed, all that they will see is a giant computer. And the hosts, the uncanny valley couple Vanessa and Nick Lachey, will say to them, “Gotcha!” The human will fall to their knees and weep.
This would make it a real experiment: not just one of love, but of science.