To Signal Is Human
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Social psychologists have long observed that humans have a reliable ability to “read” each other. Now evidence is growing that we accomplish this through social signaling, an ancient system of communication that depends on non-verbal communication rather than speech. Pentland and colleagues have concluded that they can often predict outcomes of interactions between people when they observe and quantify these signals. Recent advances in monitoring technology and in computing capabilities make this data collection and analysis—which Pentland calls “reality mining”—possible.