There are plenty of companies working on wearables that can help you predict things before they happen, including one that can help diagnose diseases through your sweat. But what if they could help you avoid conflict with your significant other?
That's what a group of researchers at the University of Southern California are working on. The study, led by Adela C Timmons, gave couples a wearable that could track body temperature, heart activity and sweat. Participants also had to record their feelings toward their significant other hourly.
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All of that data was combined with analyzation of audio recordings, which looked for intensity of speech, GPS location, to see how when and how long couples avoid each other, and fed all of it into machine learning system. The researchers decided not to prod couples for problems, like a reality show producer would do, and instead let nature run its course.
Once the data was collected and the machine learning system did its thing, it was able to identify conflict with accuracy of 86%. The next step in the study is to develop a way to use that fancy new machine learning algorithm to predict conflict before it happens. Researchers want to be able to predict conflict five minutes before it happens, and want to use physiology and speech reading to do so. They also want to build models specifically to couples, since the researchers acknowledge that not every couple fights the same way.
All of it is definitely very Minority Report, reminiscent of a couples' therapy version of pre-crime, but if there are systems that can help remind couples to calm down and talk through problems then great. This is also another step to a future where wearables can take our data and tell us how to fix ourselves.
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