Love & Data: OkCupid Co-Founder Christian Rudder Talks To TED [VIDEO]
The ability to translate a complex physical phenomenon (like human attraction) into something a microchip can understand is one of the most important tools you can have in today's market, Rudder says in the video. Making that happen requires the accumulation of data about the people in question, and, as Rudder has found: "The best way to get data quickly from people is to just ask for it." So that's what Rudder and his co-founders did. And, they quickly became flooded with information. His team then assigned numerical values to this data, created an algorithm, and came up with what he calls a "mathematical expression of how happy you'd be together." What's perhaps even more interesting, however, is that this data serves a purpose that extends beyond simply matching people together for a potential date. It also gives us a great deal of insight into human behavior.
For example, Rudder has found that women get responses to their messages more often than men, men often message the most attractive women, and if you don't get a reply to your message in about 7 hours—you might never get one. All of this information is hidden in the terabytes of data that his users are creating every day. Rudder shows his audiences how to use that data in meaningful, profitable, ways. He has now taken this practice beyond OkCupid and also mines the data produced through social media networks and other popular websites. His research has been featured repeatedly by The New York Times, Harper’s, and The Atlantic, and is dramatically changing the way companies approach the use of data. In his talks, Rudder shares the myriad possibilities of harnessing big data, and explores what our digital footprints can tell us about human relationships.