A New Corporate AI Can Read Your Emails – and Your Mind

“Okay, as of last night, who were the people who were most disgruntled…? Show me the top 10.” An anonymous Slashdot reader shares their report on a fascinating Fortune magazine article:

“One company says it can spot ‘insider threats’ before they happen — by reading all your workers’ email.” Working with a former CIA consultant, Stroz Friedberg developed a software that “combs through an organization’s emails and text messages — millions a day, the company says — looking for high usage of words and phrases that language psychologists associate with certain mental states and personality profiles…

“Many companies already have the ability to run keyword searches of employees’ emails, looking for worrisome words and phrases like ’embezzle’ and ‘I loathe this job’. But the Stroz Friedberg software, called Scout, aspires to go a giant step further, detecting indirectly, through unconscious syntactic and grammatical clues, workers’ anger, financial or personal stress, and other tip-offs that an employee might be about to lose it… It uses an algorithm based on linguistic tells found to connote feelings of victimization, anger, and blame.”

The article reports that 27% of cyber-attacks “come from within,” according to a study of 562 organizations that was partly conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, with 43% of the surveyed companies reporting an “insider attack” within the last year.

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