Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How Does That Make You Feel?

It's the quintessential shrink question.  And what if you do if you don't know how something makes you feel? Is it really healthy to suggest that people spend so much time focused on their inner world, thinking about their mood, and how the events of their life make them feeeel?  Well there's good techy news, now there's an App to tell you how you feel!  No more introspection necessary, blow up those mood charts, just ask your phone and then you can report to your shrink!  From today's Wall Street Journal:
"App Tells You How You Feel," by Amir Mizroch.  

Mizroch writes:

TEL AVIV—Beyond Verbal Communications Ltd., a voice-recognition software developer here, is rolling out an app promising something Siri can't yet deliver: a readout on how you're feeling.
Called Moodies, it lets a smartphone user speak a few words into the phone's mike to produce, about 20 seconds later, an emotional analysis. Beyond Verbal executives say the app is mostly for self-diagnosis—and a bit of fun: It pairs a cartoon face with each analysis, and users can share the face on Facebook FB -0.34% or in a tweet or email.

Oh, but wait, no good thing comes without a cost, and with technology, we get to worry about privacy issues.  Mizroch goes on: 
These companies say the tools can also detect fraud, screen airline passengers and help a call-center technician better deal with an irate customer. And they can be used to keep tabs on employees or screen job applicants. One developer, Tel Aviv-based Nemesysco Ltd., offers what it calls "honesty maintenance" software aimed at human-resource executives. The firm says that by analyzing a job applicant's voice during an interview, the program can help identify fibs.
That's raising alarm among many voice-analysis experts, who question the accuracy of such on-the-spot interpretations. It's also raising worries among privacy advocates, who say such technology—especially if it is being rolled out in cheap, easy-to-use smartphone apps—could be a fresh threat to privacy in the digital age.
 Ugh, I may need to stick with the old introspection thing.  Hopefully your phone has told you that this post was written "tongue in  cheek."    

1 comment:

PsychPractice said...

It could have interesting implications for people with autism, so they can figure out how other people are feeling.
Rosalind Picard at MIT
has developed glasses for kids with autism that read people's facial expressions, although the technology was originally developed for artificial intelligence purposes.