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Knowing The Emotional State of Your Callers

I am sure you have had the experience of returning to your office after a lengthy meeting or lunch mission only to find your voicemail full of increasingly frantic or angry messages from customers. Often these messages are mixed together with several other more calm less urgent messages. What if you received text messages that indicated not only that you have a message but indicated the emotional state of the caller?

The New Scientist reports on a new system being developed that will analyze voice messages and label those that are urgent, happy, calm, etc.

A voicemail system that labels messages according to the caller's tone of voice could soon be helping people identify which messages are the most urgent. The software, called Emotive Alert, is designed by Zeynep Inanoglu and Ron Caneel of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US.

It might be installed at the phone exchange or in an intelligent answering machine, where it will listen to incoming messages and send the recipient a text message along with an emoticon indicating whether the message is urgent, happy, excited or formal.

It works by extracting the distribution of volume, pitch and speech rate - the ratio of words to pauses - in the first 10 seconds of each message, and then comparing them with eight stored "acoustical fingerprints" that roughly represent eight emotional states: urgent or not urgent; formal or informal; happy or sad; excited or calm.

The fingerprints were created by "learning" software, which was fed hundreds of snippets from old voicemail messages that had been assigned emotional labels by the researchers. In use, the software looks for the acoustical fingerprint that is closest to the characteristics of the voice message and sends the recipient the corresponding emoticon. It also sends a text message indicating the two best-matching emotional labels.

While this technology is not yet ready for prime time it does indicate the future potential of technology to "read" the subtle and not so subtle cues in human behavior that will help people build better working and personal relationships. That's what we call customer intuition.

via

January 19, 2005 in award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, build credibility, Web/Tech | Permalink

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Emotive Alert, designed by Zeynep Inanoglu and Ron Caneel of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will analyze voice messages and label those that are urgent, happy, calm, etc., according to the caller's tone of voice to help p... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 19, 2005 4:09:08 PM

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