Monday, July 07, 2003

He and she: What's the real difference?

IMAGINE, FOR A SECOND, that no byline is attached to this article. Judging by the words alone, can you figure out if I am a man or a woman?

Moshe Koppel can. This summer, a group of computer scientists-including Koppel, a professor at Israeli's Bar-Ilan University-are publishing two papers in which they describe the successful results of a gender-detection experiment. The scholars have developed a computer algorithm that can examine an anonymous text and determine, with accuracy rates of better than 80 percent, whether the author is male or female. For centuries, linguists and cultural pundits have argued heatedly about whether men and women communicate differently. But Koppel's group is the first to create an actual prediction machine.

Mozilla and hypocrisy

Right, but what about the experiences that Mozilla chooses to default for users like switching to  Yahoo and making that the default upon ...