Data Dating

Computers Have Helped New Yorkers Find Dates Since 1965

To kick off a fascinating and lengthy piece about online dating in The New Yorker this week, Nick Paumgarten looks at TACT, the Technical Automated Compatability Testing service pioneered by an I.B. M programmer and an accountant from Queens after a visit to the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens.

For five dollars, customers got the chance to answer hundreds of questions where they offered their like, dislike and philosophies of life. Men got to choose their favorite hairstyle, women their favorite scene of a man at work. These answer were transferred to punch cards and fed into an I.B.M. 1400 Series. It got 5,000 subscribers in the first year. Read More