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IBM Watson has sent out a press release, herewith dutifully reproduced by Gizmodo:
Taking a break from treating cancer and making cocktails, IBM’s Watson is now turning its attention to how people write. The supercomputer has been trained to judge the tone in people’s written messages—and can even give feedback about how to change it.
The IBM Watson Tone Analyzer sifts through passages of text to identify the emotional and social tone contained within, as well as the writing style. It can work out if the passages is cheerful, negative or angry, and then classify it depending on the openness, agreeableness, and conscientious of the message. Finally, it’ll describe how analytical, confident or tentative your writing style is.
That all allows you to tweak the text, with Watson making suggestions about which words can be changed to tweak the tone. The idea is to help guide people to write content that better suits their needs. Think of it, I suppose, like a spell check for tone.
I’m of several minds. On the one hand, I’m the one who said, “I bet we can automate the ‘cordial’ part of ‘cordial conservative conversation.'” Remember that? If Americans can buzz Pluto, they can automate the tone. So I feel vindicated at the thought that someone, somewhere, agrees with me.
On the other hand, since the beneficiary won’t be me, but IBM Watson, I’m completely against it. This thing will put me out of a job if it works.
On the third hand (that’s just my rhetorical forelimb, don’t stare), I’m not sure they’ve quite achieved what they’re hoping for:
What’s your verdict: Successful tone analysis? You think this gizmo’s a threat to my job?Published in