Science Questions

How does a computer see meaningful trends?

Tue, 13th Dec 2011

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Question

Teo Gibson, via Facebook asked:

Its just zeros and ones so how does a computer actually spot meaningful trends in this very complex social data that were not providing?

Answer

Steven -  Pattern recognition and data mining to reveal trends in data is a big part of computer science today.  So were learning more and more about that.

Chris -  The guys who did the work on Twitter and Facebook, they were using 2 billion tweets or something to work out what kind of mood people are in and what time of the day.  So you're just telling the computer to look for certain words and certain words mean a good mood, certain words indicate on average a bad mood and you can extrapolate from that.  The computer isn't actually reading.  Its basically looking for trends which you tell it to look for.

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