TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

This machine read 3.5 million books then told us what it thought about men and women

Machine learning analyzed 3.5 million books to find that adjectives ascribed to women tend to describe physical appearance, whereas words that refer to behavior go to men.

"Beautiful" and "sexy" are two of the adjectives most frequently used to describe women. Commonly used descriptors for men include righteous, rational, and courageous.

Researchers trawled through an enormous quantity of books in an effort to find out whether there is a difference between the types of words that describe men and women in literature. Using a new computer model, the researchers analyzed a dataset of 3.5 million books, all published in English between 1900 to 2008. The books include a mix of fiction and non-fiction literature.

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