Archive for August 13th, 2007

Determining Gender from Transcripts of Phone Calls

Monday, August 13th, 2007

I was reading a paper [pdf] that showed that it is possible, with an accuracy of around 93%, to work out the gender of a person taking part in a phone call from a transcript of the call. If the call is between people of the same gender then almost 100% accuracy is reached. I already know that men and woman use different words when they are communicating but I was curious about the specific differences.

The paper showed that in phone calls the most characteristic feature for males are swear words and that for females they are family oriented words. Men are likely to say “dude” in male to male conversations (this was a study based on American English) and women say “cute”. I am missing something though when it comes to the female conversations as I can’t think why women would use the word “refunding” and I have to assume that the use of the words “coupons” and “crafts” is American-centric. Either that or I’m the one having strange phone conversations.