Thursday, October 30, 2003

She's a Man, Baby?

They say you can programmatically tell if someone is male or female by analyzing the way they type. I remember reading the original article in the New York Times - I think that was the last time I actual bought the Times, barring maybe one Sunday in September.

So I turned to a professional writer I know and some of her coworkers and submitted a few articles. They all came up male, even for articles written by people I have met and know to be female. One or two of the articles written by women were close, but most had the same approximate 1:2 ratio in favor of masculine that their male colleagues and I exhibit.

I posit that any above-average writer striving for a certain tone will, even without intention do so, fool the algorithm every time.

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