More blogfodder – Gender Genie

Those of you with inquiring minds and some spare time on your hands might want to submit a little of your work to the Gender Genie. This a program that analyzes text and attempts to identify the gender of the writer based on a scan of key words and syntax. The algorhythm seems to support the premise that men talk more about objects, and women more about relationships. Please note, I am recommending this as amusement only, see disclaimer below.

Do NOT take this test if you are inclined to accept the output of computer programs as valid evaluations of your self-worth, gender, intelligence, or general value to humanity. I do not believe that the results should be interpreted in any way but as an amusing diversion.

The program was developed by Moshe Koppel of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. Koppel and colleagues trained their algorithm on a few test cases to identify the most prevalent fingerprints of gender and of fiction and non-fiction. They then set it searching for these fingerprints in 566 English-language works in a variety of genres, ranging from A Guide to Prague to A. S. Byatt’s novel Possession – which, intriguingly, the programme misclassified by gender, along with Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day.

Gender Genie is claimed to be 80 percent accurate when the submitted text is 500 words or more, but I question the validity of the results, as they are based upon patterns in written works, not anything that actually validates sexuality or gender.

Writing is such a fluid means of expression, with patterns that change so markedly over time, that it is difficult to believe that syntax of works in the Forties and Fifties would even compare to works written fifty years before or after. When I look at my current writing style, I see little in common with my writing of a few years ago.

It will be interesting to submit some of my earlier stuff to the Gender Genie and see how the results vary.

Thanks to Ann and Trey for the link to this latest diversion.

I am creating a new category, Technical Amusements, for this and the TouchGraph GoogleBrowser which I covered earlier.

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