You May Soon Know if You’re Hogging the Discussion

Interesting, wonder what this could mean for facilitators:

People who want to improve their communication skills may one day have an unusual helper: software programs that analyze the tone, turn-taking behavior and other qualities of a conversation. The programs would then tell the speakers whether they tend to interrupt others, for example, or whether they dominate meetings with monologues, or appear inattentive when others are talking.

The inventor of this technology is Alex Pentland of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who has developed cellphone-like gadgets to listen to people as they chat, and computer programs that sift through these conversational cadences, studying communication signals that lie beneath the words.

If commercialized, such tools could help users better handle many subtleties of face-to-face and group interactions — or at least stop hogging the show at committee meetings.

in NYTimes, read full article >>

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