Computers play a central role in modern-day matchmaking, from dating apps to websites like OkCupid and Match.com. However, the history of computer dating is much older than many people realize. Professor Buzzkill is a podcast hosted by historian Joseph Cohill that features discussions about a wide variety of historical topics. On this recent episode of Professor Buzzkill (released, appropriately, on Valentine's Day 2018), technology historian Marie Hicks discusses the roots of computer dating. As Hicks explains, one of the earliest instances of computer matchmaking emerged in mid-twentieth century Great Britain. In 1961, a 27-year-old East Londoner named Joan Ball founded the Saint James Friendship Bureau, which was designed to help people find marriage partners. By 1964, Ball had renamed her organization the Saint James Computing Matching and was using technology to help individuals find compatible matches. To learn more about Ball's work and the fascinating history of computer dating, check out the full episode, available via the link above.
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