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Want to Convince Someone That You’re Human? This One Word Could Do the Trick

Volunteers came up with words like “love,” “mercy,” and “banana” — perhaps thinking that a machine wouldn’t have use for such verbiage. The scientists then paired the most popular words together and asked 2,000 online participants to guess which of the two came from a human and which from a robot (even though they both came from humans). The winningest word had, surprisingly, nothing to do with human emotion, but rather with a different ability altogether: “poop.” The team, which reports its findings next month in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, suspects that profanities and other words that evoke emotions rather than describe them — such as “moist” — might also do well.

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