Scientists may have developed AI that knows if your date is into you

Wearable device measures a person’s respiration, heart rates and perspiration

Artificial intelligence is getting smarter and a lot of people are worried about it I Your Daily Pitch

A computer designed by engineers at the University of Cincinnati might be able to tell you if he’s just not that into you.

The wearable technology can possibly predict if a first date is going well based on physiological responses. When talking, people sometimes experience physiological synchrony — where the participants’ autonomic nervous system responses align.

Published in IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, the study used data from the device to measure participants’ respiration, heart rates and perspiration. In one of the first studies of its kind, the computer was able to identify four conversation scenarios with an accuracy rating as high as 75%. That’s why lead author and U.C. doctoral student Iman Chatterjee told the university the device could give you honest feedback about your next date.

“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.”

Physiological synchrony is likely an evolutionary adaptation humans developed to collaborate better with one another. It even occurs on a subconscious level. Understanding it could open the door to applications outside of gauging first dates, too.

“You could probably use our system to determine which people in an organization work better together in a group and which are naturally antagonistic,” Chatterjee said.

It’s an opportunity for educators, therapists and more to potentially receive real-time feedback in a professional setting. Study co-author Vesna Novak, an associate professor of electrical engineering at the university, said she wants to take the study a step further.

“Our next step is to see how much nuance we can separate,” she said. “We’ve shown that AI has the ability to identify positive versus negative conversations, but can you separate shades of gray that humans wouldn’t discern?”

The full study can be found here.