Wearable Technology Aims to Predict Relationships, Intervene When Computer Detects Trouble

By Nicholas West

Predictive behavior technology is all the rage in everything from advertising to policing to medicine, and is something that we have covered extensively at Activist Post (see our archives here). Technocrats everywhere believe that the supreme being of the universe should be a computer algorithm; because, after all, in its perfection it knows us better than we know ourselves.

The following research from the University of Southern California is a chilling example of how the State could easily employ this technology for literal interventions where potential violence could occur. Beyond the micromanagement of adult relationships, note the final direction at the end of the article: parent-child relationships.

Are we really this lazy to turn over our most intimate interactions to the advice of a computer and hope that it can help manage our every emotion? Are we really that eager to completely eradicate human free will?

Monitoring Troubles of the Heart

Mobile sensing system developed by joint USC Dornsife and USC Viterbi team could give couples the power to anticipate each other’s emotional states and adapt behavior

Your partner comes in and slams a door. What was that about? Something you did? What if you knew to anticipate it because you were notified in advance from an automated text message that he/she didn’t have a great day at work? Might that change the dynamic of your interactions?

You had a bad day. The last thing you need is to get into an argument when you get home because your partner also had a bad day. What if technology could automatically send you a notification advising you to do a short meditation module to restore your mental state? How might this affect the quality of your interactions with your partner?

In the near future, researchers from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Dornsife College of Arts, Letters and Sciences believe technology might be employed to help de-escalate any potential conflicts among couples. In a collaboration between the Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (SAIL) in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering and the Family Studies Project in the Psychology Department at USC Dornsife, researchers employed multi-modal ambulatory measures to develop a system in order to detect if conflict had occurred between a couple—a sort of seismometer of the shakes, rattles and rolls in a relationship.

The research, documented in “Using Multimodal Wearable Technology to Detect Conflict among Couples,” by Adela C. Timmons, Theodora Chaspari, Sohyun C. Han, Laura Perrone, Shrikanth S. Narayanan, and Gayla Margolin, is published by the IEEE Computer Society this month.

In order to detect intra-couple conflict, the researchers with support from the National Science Foundation, developed algorithms to assess whether conflict was present among couples. This algorithm pulled together data from various sources including wearables, mobile phones, and physiological signals (or bio-signals) to assess couples’ emotional states. Data collected included body temperature, heart activity, sweat, audio recordings, assessment of language content and vocal intensity. The algorithm analyzing this data has proved to be up to 86 percent accurate in its ability to detect conflict episodes (based on participants’ hourly self-reports of when conflict occurred). The authors of the study believe it is the first instance in which passive modal computing is being collected and employed to detect conflict behavior in daily life.

Theodora Chaspari, an Electrical Engineering Ph.D student in Shri Naryanan’s SAIL lab at USC Viterbi, speaks of why this particular collaboration appealed to her and the SAIL group: “We could help beyond pure engineering domains, providing a more quantitative measures of human behavior.”

Lead author Adela C. Timmons, a psychology Ph.D student in Gayla Margolin’s Family Studies Project team at USC Dornsife, together with Chaspari runs the USC Couple Mobile Sensing Project  with “the eventual goal of developing interventions to improve couple functioning.” In addition to the notion of helping couples who can’t often replicate the interventions and behavioral strategies they learn and practice in therapist’s office, Timmons spoke about the importance of this research in detecting and perhaps having couples minimize conflict in their relationships. She indicates that negative relationships (or the absence of positive relationships) have long been recognized as a health risk. The quality of relationships, Timmons said, can provide health benefits. Further, she indicates that research has shown that those with healthy relationships have less stress and that chronic stress is known to cause “wear and tear” on the body.

The authors say that the next step in the research is using such unobtrusive, passive technologies to anticipate conflict —perhaps five minutes before it might occur, by letting computer software determine the likelihood that conflict will occur. The other part of anticipating conflict is developing early interventions—possible real-time interventions or behavioral prompts such as text notifications of a partner’s psychological state or to guide an individual to meditate before bringing that conflict home.

Chaspari acknowledges that this is not a one-fits-all approach. Machine learning software can learn what is most useful in an individual. For example, for any given person, certain factors might have more weight in predicting conflict.

Once this system has been proven, the authors anticipate that it can be employed to other important relationships such as a parent-child dynamic.

Source: USC Viterbi

Nicholas West writes for ActivistPost.com. He also writes for Counter Markets agorist newsletter.

This article may be freely republished in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

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8 Comments on "Wearable Technology Aims to Predict Relationships, Intervene When Computer Detects Trouble"

  1. When we cut through all the PR to sell us on this, this is about control. Total control. They are predicting so they can control. That is why they have the 24/7 surveillance state. This is the essence of Big Data is they track anything and everything about you and then feed it through their tax payer funded mega super computers and its software to control you. If I know what you are going to do and I don’t like it then I can change the stimuli (inputs/ data) you get so I can get you to react in a way that I like, like the lab rats that the social engineers see us to be. Needless to say, to control the data we receive they have to control the sources of data we receive. This is why they are shutting down the alternative media at every turn.

    • Grace by Faith on yt | April 17, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Reply

      Excellent points. The only thing I might add is psychiatry is a fraud, but they’re going to be using it against us very soon. This has to do with being labeled legally incompetent, therefore a ward of the state/court, and it’s a racket, as are the actions of these corporations masquerading as experts (the source of the reports in this article) that people just trust blindly without questioning their validity or their authority. Our behavior will soon be regulated, and if we are non-compliant to their made-up rules we will pay stiff penalties because the idea is to break every one of us so that we are solely dependent on this system, a system that is nothing but fraudulent trickery. I read an article yesterday about an 18-year old boy who said the eff word in front of an elderly lady and was arrested for disorderly conduct and disturbing HER peace, when the truth is, he was arrested for anti-social behavior. This is what we have to look forward to, unless, of course, we wise up and toss our keepers and snitchers (cell phones and social media) back at the frauds who are so insane they want to rule the world.

    • Well said.

  2. Will the computer tell them when it’s time to run to their safe space???

  3. emmanuelozon | April 17, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Reply

    Of course, all of this depends upon you actually wearing the wearable technology.

  4. Like out of the movie “The Island” proximity meters, instant urine analyisis, etc.

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