If a lonely Valentine’s Day has you doubting the power of dating apps, get ready to believe again.
Calaya and Baraka met just three years ago thanks to a matching algorithm. Since then, the two strangers went from potential dates, to lovers, and finally, to expectant parents — of a baby gorilla.
Baraka and Calaya are western lowland gorillas, residents of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Their, erm, fruitful partnership, only got underway thanks to a dating algorithm, made specially for gorillas.
As reported in the New Yorker on Monday, the Smithsonian’s “Gorilla Matchmaking” program is responsible for the union of Baraka and Calaya. The Smithsonian brought Calaya to meet Baraka back in February 2015 (quite the Valentine’s Day present), thanks to a match determined by a genetic and personality algorithmic compatibility ranking. The initial “Gorilla Matchmaking” technology was designed as part of the Gorilla Species Survival Plan back in the ’80s, and they’ve continued to refine the algorithm to promote gorilla breeding and species health ever since. Read more…