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I'm 60% Female

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2007-04-29 | 02:13:00
Mood: stressed
Music: Philip Glass - Metamorphosis One

...rather, a computer algorithm thinks so after I fed it 800 or so words from my other livejournal posts.

Here's an explanation from the site by the person who wrote the little script:

The computational linguists behind the algorithm, Koppel and Argamon, took a bunch of fiction and looked for trends based on gender. Using complicated formulas, they determined that male writers tended to write more about specific things like an apple, a book, or the car. In contrast, female writers wrote about connections to things like my apple, your book, or our car. The nouns themselves (apple, book, car) didn't matter much but the preceding qualifier, whether an article (a, an, the) or possessive (my, your, our), did.

Further comment and analysis on this algorithm has suggested that different writing situations demand different styles, resulting in fluctuating scores from even the same writer. Which is probably why the author of the Gender Genie site says that "I [...] believe that the Genie works no better than the flip of a coin."

Not like that matters anyway, go dig out something you've written and waste some time. It's what the Internet was made for.

For the record, of course, this post is rated securely into the 80% "masculine" range.

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Comments {4}

Christopher W. Moriarty

(no subject)

from: siokaos
date: 2007-04-29 15:59:08 (UTC)

The algorithm is probably tuned and not simply machine-learned statistics. I wonder if SixApart will buy this technology, that'd be funny.

Anyway, fuck gender.

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(no subject)

from: scudmissile
date: 2007-04-29 20:33:19 (UTC)

The original study from which that web site is based on was derived from machine-learned statistics. The authors of the algorithm based it on 604 documents from the British National Corpus (a list of the works is available here). There's also a PDF of the original paper of their findings.

However, the algorithm on the site doesn't 'adjust' itself at all, and just looks for a set of pre-defined key words. All of this is based on the hypothesis from the original research: women tend to write using more pronouns, while men use more noun specifiers.

I'm not worried about the results of the algorithm. I take it as seriously as any other goofy quiz or 'meme' that goes around. Ultimately, what it really tells you is how often grep found certain types of pre-defined words in a passage, which means that it's incredibly easy to game if you're even just a little bit conscious of what words you're using to connect ideas.

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