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IBM have been trying to take technological advancements into a new direction, launching a ‘cognitive computing’ range of applications – made to learn and interact with the user. In simple English, the ranges of applications from the computing giant are meant to learn how you go about your tasks (such as writing an email) and then provide proofing and corrections. Recently announced in this particular range of applications is the ‘Watson Tone Analyser’.

The way that this application will work is fairly self-explanatory. Once you input a piece of text the system will analyse three different aspects of the piece—emotional, social and writing style. After continuing to break down the inputted text into further categories, the ‘tone check’ will provide you a breakdown of the tone and how to improve it. This might come in handy when writing documents for employee performance improvement without pissing them off too much.

So far the ‘Tone Analyser’ is in a working prototype stage, so while this technology might be several years away you can give it a crack here. I thought I would give the application a spin, so I put this article through it before I posted it online. Unsurprisingly, all it really achieved was show me how much of a negative person I was (sad face), but you can see potential in the finished product.

If IBM, or other tech companies, want to make a real difference to society, hopefully the next development is an application that is able to automatically critique and correct text messages sent after midnight on a Friday and Saturday night. Now that’s something that will change the world in a positive way.


Luke Karakas.

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