Rochester, NY
24 April 2014
 
    Photo: MonkeyEggplant @ Flickr.com

    Let’s face it: going to the shrink is expensive. And especially in these days of “high deductible” health insurance policies, it may not be the most affordable option for your basic anxiety-prone individual.

    But that may not necessarily matter for very much longer, as scientists including psychologists at the University of Rochester are working on voice recognition software that can detect your mood. And you can have it on your phone.

    Mood recognition is for computers the same as it is for humans: a learned response to individual input. You know when your friend is pissed off not because they act like everybody else, but because they have a specific set of visual and auditory queues. Their voice might go up in pitch or may even go monotone. Researchers are finding that mood recognition software can be 81% accurate with a trained ear, but the same software applied to another voice might drop to 30% accuracy.

    Of course, the applications of such software would obviously not end at your phone. Imagine a voice recognition political poll that can detect sarcasm and irritation even when you answer questions contrarily?

    Or for that matter, imagine your girlfriend’s phone being trained to listen to you. You think she nags you about your attitude now?

    Oh, boy. The future looks bright.

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