MIT Builds Wearable To Detect Emotion In Conversation

Posted: Feb 2 2017, 9:11am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

MIT Builds Wearable to Detect Emotion in Conversation
The team's system was implemented on a Samsung Simband, a research device that can measure metrics such as movement, heart rate, blood pressure and skin temperature. Photo Credit: Jason Dorfman/MIT CSAIL
  • MIT's wearable emotion detector can predict if a conversation is happy, sad, or neutral based on a person’s speech patterns and vitals

A smartwatch application or mood-predicting wearable has been made that can easily gauge the mood and tone of a dialogue between two or more people.

A conversation could be analyzed in a number of ways depending on where the speaker puts the stresses and the inflections. Those individuals who have anxiety disorders or Asperger’s Syndrome cannot judge irony in conversations or the mood of the interlocutor.

This results in their social life being reduced and rather restricted. It seems that normality is a very fine-tuned thing. Almost a sixth sense is required to blend in and judge a friendly conversation in all its complexity.

One almost thinks to oneself that a tool ought to be invented that could collate the rules of conversation and thus gauge the timbre and tenor of the speech patterns.

It will increase understanding and harmony between people instead of fostering misunderstandings and chaos. So, in order to decrease the communication gap, researchers from MIT put two and two together and came up with a solution to the problem.

An AI-based system has been invented that can judge on a consistent basis whether a conversation is upbeat, dejected or normal. It is all dependent on a complex mix of an individual’s style of speech and vital signs.

Just to think that the “convo” recorded in this device could be played back and one can mark the moments in it when the other person felt joyful, depressed or anxious not to mention lackluster.

It would be a great lesson in learning social cues. It is almost like an artificially intelligent social coach that may help people who are inept at parties and other gatherings become more adept.

Not only will this AI coach analyze conversations but it will scrutinize textual matter too. Physiology will enter the equation to give a better reading of what was felt at the time of writing or speaking the words by the other person.

This is a prime example of very intelligent technology that almost enters the field of bionics (which is a portmanteau word made by combining biology and electronics). The results of this smartwatch showed quite clearly that there was a pattern to speech excerpts that made them depressing, uplifting or neutral.

The monotonous monologues were generally a sign of depression. The plucky and energetic speech segments showed that the person who was speaking happened to be on top of the world. The device could gauge the mood and direction of the individual doing the talking.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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