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August 20, 2003

Gender Genie

I'm on my way to teach, so I can't give this entry the attention it deserves (maybe I'll come back later), but I just wanted to point out The Gender Genie, which uses an algorithm to determine the author of a text. I tried with two different entries, my "Movie Star" entry and my "Truth and Blogging" entry. Based on the algorithm, the first entry was determined to have been authored by a man, the second by a woman. It seems somewhat significant that the "theoretical" entry would be read as masculine, the "personal" entry as feminine. I'd also wonder what it means that I'm submitting blog entries and not emails or journal articles or whatever. Or maybe I'm just in touch with my feminine side.

New observation: I tried a couple of more entries ("Film Geeks" was written by a male, "Small Town Campaigning" by a female) and learned that the algorithm has been right only about 40% of the time (oops!). What gender do you write like?

Posted by chuck at August 20, 2003 9:52 AM

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Well, apparently I'm female.

The algorithm is interesting. Articles and numbers, the pronoun "it" are indicative of maleness. Indicators of relationship, all other pronouns and negation are feminine.

Wonder what hypothesis seeded it.

Posted by: elouise at August 20, 2003 10:44 AM

I'm still getting mixed results (I've tried about ten entires). Like you, I wish I knew the hypothesis behind the algorithm, but the article is already archived...

Posted by: chuck at August 20, 2003 9:05 PM

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