The adorable algorithm that writes your Craigslist personal ad for you

Collective Love wants to take the pain out of finding the perfect casual encounter -- or, at least, the drudgery.

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Can an algorithm capture Pink's heart? Pink/Vevo screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

If you are currently alone, suffering from the concept that no one will ever love you again, I bring you a solution.

Unlike many of my solutions, this one is temporary. However, I feel sure it might get you through at least a couple of days, before you again berate your ex on IM for being the faithless spawn of liars and ingrates.

I have had wind, you see, that there is a site called Collective Love. Its purpose, at least in its own words, goes like this: "With Collective Love, the amorous essence is extruded from a morass of anonymous expressions of lustful intent and offered to you. A product of the minds of thousands of strangers, it is not quite human, and yet not quite alien."

But you are a higher level of the species. What scientific ingredient might Collective Love have that would interest you? Well, it's this: "It parses the content of these (Craigslist) listings and applies a Markov chain algorithm to generate text using the ideas and feelings expressed by the ad posters."

What is love, as Jennifer Lopez, Haddaway, and Howard Jones all asked in their time, without a Markov chain algorithm?

How could I, permanently forlorn and forsaken, not partake of this hopeful elixir?

So I entered my location, my preference of m4w, and asked for the shortest possible ad -- 20 sentences.

This is the glory I received. Well, at least the beginning of it:

Collective Love Your browser does not support the audio element.

Let me, know just go up by good bad a woman for work? Pics would flip like to get really enjoy the sheep in the posting says I'm healthy and a call any age would like to share please be sucked Like fun, with those girls! Hit me and totally love lots of stamina, to fix a few things with a woman yo yo yo yo.

There then followed vast swathes of wording, some filthy, some attempting to be filthy. But all, sadly, utter nonsense.

One more method is, therefore, eliminated from my hope bank. One more method, this one purportedly scientific, is cast down to the gutter of the tried, the tested, and the failed.

Then again, perhaps I should try to post some of this nonsense on Craigslist to see if it works.

After all, meeting someone is such an absurd affair that perhaps someone might see it, smile, and reply: "Oh, you're using 'Collective Love' too! Come and have a look at my totally nonsensical ad. Or better still, let's go to Peet's and talk about it."

If there's one thing I know about knowing, it's that you never do.

 

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