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Talking computer program can improve social skills

Saturday - 6/22/2013, 8:35am  ET

WASHINGTON - For many people, face-to-face conversation is intimidating. Conversing online and in text form is often easier than looking into someone's eyes.

But being comfortable in conversation can do more than help alleviate awkward social situations -- it can help with job interviews, public speaking and dating.

For the shy ones out there, MIT researchers developed an interactive software program called MACH -- or My Automated Conversation coacH.

Researchers says the program helps to strengthen confidence and social interaction skills.

Gizmodo reports that MACH can be used on your home computer. While chatting with a 3D persona, a webcam measures your facial expressions, your head nods and your smiles. The program even analyzes your voice.

But beware: If your eye contact wanders, you will get called out on it.

Ninety MIT undergraduates sat in on simulated job interviews before and after using the MACH program, according to Gizmodo. Those who used the feedback were rated as better candidates for the job than those who did not, Gizmodo reports.

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