AJC: Scientists develop AI that knows if your date is into you

Smash or pass? This UC program can help you decide

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlighted a University of Cincinnati research project that uses wearable tech to tell how engaged a person is in a conversation.

Researchers studied a phenomenon in which people’s heart rates, respiration and other autonomic nervous system responses become synchronized when they talk or collaborate. Known as physiological synchrony, this effect is stronger when two people engage deeply in a conversation or cooperate closely on a task.

“Physiological synchrony shows up even when people are talking over Zoom,” said Vesna Novak, an associate professor of electrical engineering in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.

For the research project, Novak and students in her engineering lab created wearable tech to monitor a conversation.

In experiments with human participants, the computer was able to differentiate four different conversation scenarios with as much as 75% accuracy. The study is one of the first of its kind to train artificial intelligence how to recognize aspects of a conversation based on the participants’ physiology alone.

UC doctoral student Iman Chatterjee said a computer could give you honest feedback about your date — or even yourself.

“The computer could tell if you’re a bore,” Chatterjee said. “A modified version of our system could measure the level of interest a person is taking in the conversation, how compatible the two of you are and how engaged the other person is in the conversation.”

Read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution story.

Featured image at top: UC doctoral student Iman Chatterjee demonstrates the wearable tech that can monitor physiology to determine a couple's conversational compatibility. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

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