Science

People can be identified by the way they dance

People can be identified by th...
Gettin' down could get you recognized
Gettin' down could get you recognized
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Gettin' down could get you recognized
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Gettin' down could get you recognized

Might it be possible that someday in the near future, an official might get you to dance around a bit, in order to confirm that you're really you? Perhaps not, but nonetheless, a recent study has determined that people's identities can be matched to their unique style of dancing.

Scientists at Finland's University of Jyväskylä started out by using motion capture technology to see if test subjects' psychological traits could be ascertained from the way in which they danced – such traits included their mood, their level of empathy, and how extroverted or neurotic they were.

The researchers were also interested in seeing if simply by watching a person dance, it would be possible to determine what sort of music they were dancing to. This only worked about 30 percent of the time.

What they unintentionally discovered, however, was that regardless of the type of music, each person has a characteristic style of dancing that can be identified and matched specifically to themselves. Doing so is accomplished utilizing machine learning algorithms, in conjunction with the motion capture tech.

In the study, a total of 73 volunteers each danced to eight genres of music – these included Blues, Country, Dance/Electronica, Jazz, Metal, Pop, Reggae and Rap. The participants received no instructions, other than to "move any way that felt natural."

Once the system had initially established which person danced in which way, it could subsequently identify them – based on nothing but their dance moves – a whopping 94 percent of the time. If it were simply making random guesses as to who was who, the rate of accuracy would reportedly be about 2 percent.

Although the technology works with any music genre, some provided better results than others. Metal, for instance, wasn't the greatest when it came to accurate IDs. The scientists believe this is likely due to the fact that certain moves are strongly associated with that style of music, so most people are likely to choose those instead of uniquely expressing themselves.

Should you be picturing yourself having to dance at the airport Customs kiosk, though, or being identified from smartphone footage of fetish club's dance floor … that's probably never going to happen.

"We’re less interested in applications like surveillance than in what these results tell us about human musicality," says Dr. Emily Carlson, first author of a paper on the study. "We have a lot of new questions to ask, like whether our movement signatures stay the same across our lifespan, whether we can detect differences between cultures based on these movement signatures, and how well humans are able to recognize individuals from their dance movements compared to computers."

The paper was recently published in the Journal of New Music Research.

Source: University of Jyväskylä

5 comments
Grunchy
Christopher Reeve & Stephen Hawking came out identical though.
neoneuron
Now! Dance for you meal!
AladdinConnolly
Well you can tell by the way I.....
McDesign
As a white CIS male, I abide by the long-standing tradition of my people of never moving my feet.
Douglas Rogers
I don't dance at weddings because when I dance, I look like THIS!