If you’ve ever gotten in trouble with your spouse over how you said something, you’re not alone.
A team of U.S. researchers have created a computer algorithm that can detect whether or not a marriage will succeed or fail based on tone of voice alone. And with a 74 per cent accuracy rate, it’s even more on-point than human behavioural experts.
To get those numbers, researchers at the University of Southern California recorded conversations in marriage counselling sessions for more than 100 couples. They then followed up with all the couples again after five years to determine whether or not their relationship had survived.
What they found was that their algorithm out-performed the relationship therapists in pegging if the marriage would thrive or deteriorate. Which means even if the words you are choosing are all nice and happy, the tone with which you say them can completely alter their meaning.
The way the algorithm worked was by analyzing the pitch, intensity and also warbles in voice through all of the recordings. The program then tested those results against behavioural analyses made by the experts who had looked at all the couples to see whether they were more prone to positive qualities like showing gratitude in their relationships or negative qualities, like placing blame.
Of course, if your partner already makes you happy, a positive tone should come naturally.