It’s the weekend, and you’re trying to stay off the grid, when you get a pressure-filled note from your boss about clients and deadlines and projects. Couldn’t this have waited until Monday? you think as you start crafting a spirited (ahem, irritated) reply.
But before you hit send, click on over to the Watson Tone Analyzer, a new online tool from IBM that will help you check your emotional tone.
Simply copy and paste the text of your email into the browser, then wait mere microseconds for Watson to spit out your computer-analyzed results. It’s actually a lot like spell-check, except instead of flagging its and it’s, the program singles out words that make you sound angry or annoyed. We gave it a whirl:
Hey Boss Lady, Look, I know you’re worried, but I got this, OK? We can look into all of this more on Monday, but it’s the weekend. It’s frustrating that you don’t trust me!!
Watson immediately flagged “worried” and “frustrating,” telling us to watch our negativity. It also gave us points for the line “let’s look into this Monday,” which it said showed openness and maturity.
A caveat: It did catch our “don’t trust me!!” line, but labeled it as cheerfulness--proof that a computer can be helpful, but it will still never replace the good old-fashioned practice of reading your note aloud.