"I know you hear me, but are you listening to me?"
That's something one of my teachers used to say to the class back in yeshiva day school.
The New York Times reports on a company that is pioneering the study of "Emotional Analytics."
Beyond Verbal is helping to "reach beyond the verbal" and listen for mood, attitude, and personality of the speaker.
The point is that if you listen carefully, you can decode a person's mood--almost like a "human emotional genome."
Beyond Verbal can already identify "400 variations" of emotions not based on the words chosen, but rather based on the tone and frequency of use.
For example, is the person telling you over and over again about a products problems--and are they getting annoyed that you aren't getting it!
Through a speech analytics engine that examines patterns of verbal use, we can classify whether a person is dissatisfied, escalating, and so on.
This can be extremely useful, for example, in call centers that service (perhaps some irate) customers.
Also, speech analytics could help us with uncovering deception from terrorists or moles in the government by detecting threatening or nervous emotions that the subjects are trying to hide.
Potentially, this software could be helpful in our personal lives as well in terms of identifying the context and providing the E.I. (emotional intelligence) to understand what a person is r-e-a-l-l-y saying to us, rather than just perhaps the superficial words themselves.
If we can not only hear someone else, but listen better and perceive more precisely what they are trying to tell us and what they are feeling, then we can problem-solve and resolve situations better and more quickly.
Software like this could definitely help keep me out of the doghouse at home. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)