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GroupMedia: Speed Dating v2

Does she Like Me?

Project Leads: Anmol Madan and Ron Caneel

An answer to the irrepressible question. In May 2004 and December 2004, a total of 70 5-minute real-life speed-dating sessions were analyzed. By mathematically modeling the participants speaking styles, we devised a system to predict with high accuracy if the other person was romantically interested, or considered you a possible friend or colleague.

The results of these experiments were quite revealing. Speech features explain 1/3 to ˝ of the variance for objective results (R 0.45, p 0.03). Both male and female results show strong correlation with female speech features - perhaps, as anyone would have guessed, the woman's reactions are more representative of the outcome.

Influence parameters, which measure turn-taking in conversation, show more correlation with business relationships and friendship, and less with attraction. “Back and forth” exchanges - where one partner goes "aha", "yup", etc. improve the possibility of a woman saying "yes".

The initial software measured speaking styles and prosody on a Zaurus PDA. For version two of this study, the Zaurus PDA's calculate your chances with the girl (or the guy), and give you feedback during the session. Hopefully, this will improve your chances!

More information on this study is available in "Voices of Attraction" in the publications section, and in New Scientist magazine, dated 12/18/2004.

(c) MIT Media Lab