Part of the show Crowd Control, Football Hooligans and Singing Mosquitoes
How many times have you done that - sent an email and forgotten to add the attachment? Well now help is at hand in the form of a system being developed by Fernando Pereira and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania. An article in this week's New Scientist describes how the team are developing software that can scan an email for clues hinting at a missing attachment, and then pop up a reminder before you hit send. To develop the new tool the researchers used 8000 publicly-available emails from a US company and taught the software to pick up the patterns of words and phrases associated with the presence of attachments. Then, to test it, they ran it through a batch of fresh emails from which it correctly predicted, in 85% of cases, those that contained an attachment.