Friday, September 09, 2005


Ever been told by a friend that you sound rude over a phone? I have been. At first, I was surprised because I never noticed that I was rude, I didn’t intend to be rude too. But when friends start telling that you are being rude over the phone, you are made to look into it. This recent news article was interesting, they have found a device to help me out it seems…

Here’s what the news says,

People know when they're on the phone with an inattentive jerk, but they might not realize how they sound to others. A new telephone technology, dubbed the Jerk-O-Meter, could help. The device analyzes psychological cues in the human voice to rate a speaker's interest in the conversation they're having. The machine connects to a cell phone and picks up on vocal cues, such as how quickly someone speaks, the amount they interrupt, and whether they use other conversational signals such as repeated "yeahs." The cues are used to measure a speaker's engagement on a scale from 0 to 100. During calls the device gives its owner messages about his or her performance, displaying notes such as "Don't be a jerk!," "Be a little nicer now," or "Wow, you're a smooth talker."

The current prototype of the Jerk-O-Meter monitors several key aspects of phone conversations. It measures activity levels, or how often you speak. It also uses mathematical logarithms to measure known stresses and deviations of pitch. Future versions may become even more precise. They may measure factors such as mirroring, when one speaker shows empathy by adopting the other's voice patterns, and engagement, which monitors how much one person influences the other as they take turns talking.

Cognitive psychologists are well aware of such valuable cues. They predict that there are definitely individual linguistic markers that carry across a conversation. But they think that the machine is hardly one size fits all, however, significant hurdles may remain. Simply put, not all of us speak or express emotions in the same way. It's a big challenge to recognize speech correctly, and recognizing emotion is also a challenge. To recognize the basic emotions like happiness, anger, fear, and disgust, the face is more informative than the voice. The voice by itself can be pretty ambiguous, they say.

Future versions of the Jerk-O-Meter could become more effective if software allows the machine to learn more about the speaker through constant feedback. The device would then become more accurate with each conversation.

I think that in the realm of self-improvement it could be a valuable tool. Whatsay?

1 comment:

Jeevan said...

Good infromation of Jerk-O-Meter, it will be really useful.