A new computer app can tell if you’re boring.
Except I don’t need a computer app to tell me that.
Not you, of course. You’re delightful, and I enjoy spending time with you.
But, you know, other people. Other people are boring.
Well, maybe not boring, but people all have different interests, which can make them incompatible.
Let’s say you like monster trucks and MMA fighting. I like books and baseball. And let’s say we sit down to have coffee.
We can talk about the things we each enjoy, but both of us will be bored. Why? Because we don’t share those interests. It’s not because the other person is boring; rather, we just don’t gel on the same subjects. I may be bored, but that doesn’t mean you’re boring. It’s actually more of a reflection on me than on you.
Which is what my college girlfriend said to me when she dumped me.
You could have the coolest stories about MMA fighting, or monster trucks, or that time an MMA fighter punched out a monster truck.
(That actually sounds amazing, I don’t care who you are.)
But no matter how cool those stories are, it’s not something that fascinates me. So you can tell me story after story about two people beating the hell out of each other, and I’m going to be sneaking peeks at my watch every five minutes.
Similarly, I could tell you about some of the great I’ve been reading, including the one about how Josh the littlest MMA fighter, and his best friend, Trucknado, solve crimes, and you’ll be bored out of your skull.
Does that mean we’re boring? Not at all. I am very fascinating and tell amazing stories. Just ask my family. They love the stories that I tell over and over many times. And they have never once said, “Dad, you already told us that one. Seriously, please don’t tell it again.”
But now, you never have to worry about boring someone else because, with this new relationship system, you can learn how to add excitement to any conversation. It involves a llama, a firecracker and a bottle of tequila.
Wait, that’s not right.
Scientists are working on an artificial intelligence-based app that will tell you if you’re boring another person in a conversation.
This is useful if you’re on a date, on a job interview, in a therapy session, or have autism and want to know how well you’re doing in a social situation. It can even be used if you’re teaching a class, although you shouldn’t use it if you’re a high school teacher. The system can only take so much before it explodes.
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati say that their program uses physiological data from wearable technology. So the same data gotten through your FitBit can alert you if the other person is feeling excited, aroused, angry or has flatlined.
The system is in the preliminary stages, and it’s learning to recognize conversations using physiological cues, including heart rate, blood pressure and perspiration. It’s 75% successful in identifying four types of conversations: positive, negative, one-sided or two-sided.
This might be a useful device to strap to your Uncle Phil at the next Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe they could install a zapper for when he starts talking about politics and “those people.”
According to one of the researchers, Iman Chatterjee, a modified version of this system could measure the interest and engagement the other person has in your conversation.
In other words, the system can tell you if you’re boring the bejeezus out of the other person or whether they want to straight up murder you.
Then you can each know how compatible you are with the other person. After the date, check your phone to see if you should swipe left, swipe right or fake your own death.
I’m envisioning a compatibility score, like a school grading system: 80% or higher, and you should go on a second date; 70% to 80% means a second date will be risky but not inadvisable; 40% to 70% is a no-go. And if anyone scores below 40%, their team of experts will help you craft a new identity and start over in another city.
Maybe it could even buzz you in real time when your likability score gets too low.
“Are you interested in seeing some of my favorite photos of telegraph poles? *BZZT* Er, that is, my mother said the funniest thing when I made her coffee this morning. *BZZT* I saw on the news that Kim Kardashian— *BZZT*
“This is DateStar. Our sensors indicate you’ve been involved in a crash.”
“Uh, yeah, I’m going to need you guys to send the llama.”