Web: Algorithm predicts relationship success better than human therapists

November 2015 by: From The Web

Words are powerful.


As it turns out, the power may actually come from the tone, not the words themselves.


Researchers from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the University of Utah have developed a program that — after listening to conversations between more than one hundred couples — can predict relationship success or failure better than a therapist.


In fact, the machine boasted a nearly 79 percent accuracy rate when predicting whether a relationship would improve or worsen based on tone of voice used when the couples spoke.


The program uses an algorithm that analyzes recorded marriage therapy sessions over the past two years. It uses speech-processing techniques that focus on pitch, intensity, jitter and shimmer — as well as slightly less quantitative measures such as “warbles” in the voice that tend to indicate increased emotion.


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