IBM's conversation coach to save marriages

This technology from IBM might just save your marriage!

Poor communication has been touted time and again as the number 1 reason for couples spitting.

Conversation skills of men, or the lack thereof, has been the butt of countless sexist jokes.

Men are often accused of being emotionally challenged when it comes to holding a conversation. And not without good reason — what with men preferring short, terse answers to long-winded explanations and responses.

Enter IBM’s conversation coach to the rescue.

The next time you say something that is emotionally inept or just socially unacceptable, this technology can not only detect it and warn you but also suggest you an alternative that might save the day.


It uses natural language processing to analyze a huge training sample of conversations. It then automatically identifies conversational patterns that are socially/emotionally inappropriate. This may also include abnormal questions/responses by people suffering from autism or other similar mental disorders.

For instance, to a statement such as “My pet died yesterday”, if your response is something along the lines of “umm, okay”, IBM’s conversation coach is going to nudge you and suggest a more appropriate response such as “I’m sorry to hear that”.

Thanks to this invention, “saying the right thing at the right time” is a skill you need not possess.

Most likely, IBM’s Watson will power this technology. Watson is a computer system that was specifically developed to answer questions on the quiz show Jeopardy. In 2011, Watson competed on Jeopardy! against former winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. Watson received the first place prize of $1 million.

Image Credit: jrodthoughts
Image Credit: jrodthoughts
Patent Information
Publication number: US 20160180735
Publication date: Jun 23, 2016
Filing date: Dec 19, 2016
Inventors: Adam T. CLARK; Brian J. CRAGUN; Anthony W. EICHENLAUB; John E. PETRI; John C. UNTERHOLZNER;
Original Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation