The gig is up. New cell phone software is in the works at Massachusetts Institute of Technology that will let people know when the person they are talking to is just pretending to be interested.
The "Jerk-O-Meter" software analyzes speech patterns and voice tones to rate people on a scale of 0 to 100 percent as to how engaged they are in a conversation. It uses mathematical algorithms to measure levels of stress and empathy in a person's voice and also keeps track of how often someone is speaking.
Bloggers--some guilty of bad listening, others on the other end of the conversation--have posted the Jerk-O-Meter story all over the Web. Are they interested, or just pretending?
Blog community response:
"Wonder if they could eventually add a module to measure stupidity as well. Think of the possibilities for vetting candidates!"
--Ian J. Barton
"Essentially, women will now be able to PROVE that we don't really listen to what they say...This might help the business world as well. You can tell when someone is trying to bullshit you, or try to screw you over."
--News According to Pete
"Rather than develop this project, why not just ask the person on the other end of the phone if they are listening. If they say yes, then they are listening. If they say no followed by curses of some sort, then they generally aren't. MIT, hire me, sounds like I'm a scientist!"