Computer dating has been around since 1983, when a Commodore 64 successfully matched a young couple in Maine, who married later that year. They divorced five years later, but by this time the machine was out of warranty and a subsequent claim for compensation ended in failure.
In the years following this breakthrough, computer dating has become both more popular and more reliable. There are now thousands of dating websites and applications to choose from, and a recent survey commissioned by the industry claimed that in the last ten years four billion couples have met online. Since this would involve more people than the current population of the planet, the figure has subsequently been revised down, and now officially stands at 'a lot'.
It fact, because of the volume of successful matches made, experts have noted a sharp decrease in the numbers of single people. They predict that by 2018 everyone will be successfully hitched and the industry will be bankrupt. It's a bleak prospect for anyone currently in the matchmaking business, but now a Swiss company has offered a glimmer of hope. Segregatione Internationale describes itself as an 'anti-dating agency' and it guarantees that it can permanently split up most happily settled couples, effectively repopulating the dating market.
How do they do this? Well, the company has understandably been reticent to share its methods, but it is believed that it employs agents to spread mistrust and suspicion via anonymous letters and phone calls, and by the clandestine planting of incriminating underwear. "It really is remarkably effective," an unnamed source told us. "All it takes is a pair of foreign pants in your overcoat pocket or an enigmatic brassiere artfully draped over the back seat of your car, and before you know it you're getting the cold shoulder treatment and sleeping on the sofa."