With the development of a new computer program by an Israeli company called eXaudios, it will become possible to predict a caller's emotional state over the phone. Not just that, the software also diagnoses a range of medical conditions.
The program, known as Magnify, decodes the human voice to identify a person's emotional state.
Some U.S. companies already use the system in their call centers. eXaudios is even testing the software's use in diagnosing medical conditions like autism, schizophrenia, heart disease and even prostate cancer.
"When agents talk with customers over the phone, they usually focus on content and not intonation, unless the customer is screaming," Discovery News quoted Yoram Levanon, President and CEO of eXaudios, as saying.
"If a customer is screaming, you don't need the software. But if we can identify the other emotions of a customer, we can save customers and companies money," Levanon added.
Certain diseases have an unmistakable impact on a person's speech. Many autistic patients require speech therapy to communicate effectively. Nearly 90 percent of Parkinson's disease patients eventually develop some form of soft, mumbled speech.
Yoram Bonneh, an autism researcher at the Weizman Institute of Science in Israel, used the Magnify software in his work with autistic five-year-old children.
Out of 80 children - 40 previously diagnosed with autism and 40 non-autistic children - Magnify successfully identified 85 percent of the autistic kids.
In addition to autism study, eXaudios cites other research in Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, heart disease and dyslexia.
The company even has anecdotal evidence that they can diagnose prostate cancer by analyzing a person's voice.