Japan plans to boost its tumbling birth rate by funding artificial intelligence matchmaking systems to help residents find love.

Last year the number of babies born in Japan fell below 865,000. A record low fueled by a decrease in the number of marriages and rise in age of marriage. Furthermore, government data shows the number of marriages fell by 200,000 in Japan from 2000 to last year.

Japan’s fertility rate was 1.36 last year. This is one of the world’s lowest and far below the rate needed to maintain a population.

In a country with a long history of human matchmakers, local governments have already moved on to AI matching systems to pair people up. But many only consider criteria such as income and age and only produce results if there is an exact match.

Around half of the nation’s 47 prefectures offer matchmaking services. Some of them have already introduced artificial intelligence systems, according to the Cabinet Office.

The national government will guarantee roughly 60 percent of the cost of the more elaborate AI systems. This is out of 2 billion yen it is requesting to fight the falling birthrate in next year’s fiscal budget.

This new bite was adapted from an article originally written for World Economic Forum.


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