FEB 2, 2010 5:15pm ET

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There is a stir this week over a report at Politico.com that active and retired CIA agents are moonlighting for hedge funds and financial firms to profile the words and physical tics of executives delivering earnings calls in the name of "deception detection."

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Comments (2)
Dear Readers:

The correct term is "Linguistic Discourse Analysis." This format is used in evaluating depositions, political speeches, plagiarism, logic etc. There is nothing new about the use of this type of linguistic tool.

However, the illogical gap between a statement and material evidence as a conclusion is rather comical. For example, if one were to say the following: 'A major baseball team will win the World Series. The Cleveland Indians are a major baseball team. Thus, the Cleveland Indians will win the World Series.'

However, if the e-mails of a CEO is evaluated against the financial statements, a possible deception may be indicated for further investigation. And remember that in the world of Anti-terrorism, the government is trying to obtain as much evidential data that will govern our security forces and resources.

PS: Don't forget that many professions have their own linguistic format, e.g. legal, financial, medical, etc.

Posted by Michael S | Wednesday, February 03 2010 at 5:12PM ET
I think the last comment is wrong and does not answer the ideas of the story. This is not transitive algebra or CEO emails. Analytics for speech are tricky in a way to make conclusions that can be wrong very easily. When we don't know speech analytics we risk judgement in the hands of others that is worse than having no facts. Fluss is right to know we need context or we can make any conclusion we want. There is not some linguistic term for this, analytics are in the hands of users who make their own outcomes.
Posted by Ivan T | Thursday, February 04 2010 at 3:24AM ET
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