Be still my beating app
In the modern world, trying to work out if there is any romantic overtones to your conversations just got a whole lot easier. Why rely on your human qualities like emotional intelligence or directness when you can enlist artificial intelligence to scan your texts for signs of flirtation or friend-zoning.
According to Wired magazine there are a crop of new apps, which use AI, to offer relationship advice. Just like Tarot cards have done for less digital times. Mei is billed as a "relationship assistant" and for $9 you can have a 1000 word chit chat analysed to estimate the compatibility and personality of the individual, scoring along five traits: openness, emotional control, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
These type of apps require a real suspension of privacy — they are, after all, parsing intimate conversations, but Mei anonymises all of its conversational data, and allows users to scrub their uploads from the company's servers. Apparently, according to the data, people who have romantic intent use the words "night" and "dream" a lot more.
Ruffling the wrong feathers
What does it mean to have an albatross around your neck? This popular idiom is a nod to English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), in which an albatross is shot by the mariner, bringing feelings of insurmountable guilt upon him and disaster upon his crew: "Ah! Well-a-day! What evil looks, Had I from old and young! Instead of the cross, the Albatross, About my neck was hung ..." Today, this phrase is used to describe an unfortunate mishap or mistake, which has become a burden. "The poor decision has been an albatross around his neck for years."
Three things you probably didn't know ...
1. In Japan you can attend "crying workshops" where you weep while watching a sad film and a handsome man wipes away your tears.
2. A "captcha" is an acronym for 'Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart".
3. The sequel to Phantom of the Opera was delayed for months because Andrew Lloyd Webber's kitten deleted the musical score from the digital piano. (Via @qikipedia)