Our smartwatches are pretty good at telling us how we are performing physically during our exercises, such as how far we’ve run, how fast we’ve run, how many stairs we’ve climbed, how many calories we’ve burnt, what is our heart rate, and so on. However what about mental health? Can smartwatches measure our emotions?

Turns out it can, sort of, thanks to an app that was recently developed by the folks at MIT (via Engadget). How this works is that the app will be listening to your conversations as well as analyze text transcriptions and physiological signs to help determine the overall tone of the story, which according to its creators has about an 83% accuracy rating.

According to graduate student Tuka Alhanai, “Imagine if, at the end of a conversation, you could rewind it and see the moments when the people around you felt the most anxious. Our work is a step in this direction, suggesting that we may not be that far away from a world where people can have an AI social coach right in their pocket.”

PhD candidate Mohammad Ghassemi adds, “As far as we know, this is the first experiment that collects both physical data and speech data in a passive but robust way, even while subjects are having natural, unstructured interactions. Our results show that it’s possible to classify the emotional tone of conversations in real-time.” Unfortunately it seems that this emotions detecting app is far from being consumer-ready, but for now it seems that it is a step in the right direction.

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