Using Tweets To Identify Dodgy Restaurant Food
Or, more specifically, stomach complaints: nEmesis monitors diners' Twitter accounts for certain words that might indicate a potential food poisoning issue. Tests showed its findings closely matched those of health inspectors.
What's the Latest Development?
While at the University of Rochester, Adam Sadilek used machine learning to rank 3.8 million New York-area tweets according to the occurrence of words like "food" and "stomach." Crowdsourced workers then identified 6,000 tweets that most likely signaled that the person doing the tweeting had experienced food poisoning. The set of data formed the key knowledge needed for Sadilek's system, cleverly named nEmesis, to determine both the tweeters with upset tummies and the New York City restaurants that may or may not have been responsible. Further evaluation showed that the health scores assigned to restaurants by nEmesis closely matched those from city food inspectors.
What's the Big Idea?
Perhaps not surprisingly, Sadilek now works at Google, which has its own service that uses search data to predict flu outbreaks. Using social media to predict larger trends has become increasingly common, but Sadilek readily admits that nEmesis is open for abuse by Twitter users: "People will start tweeting that they threw up when they know they are near McDonald's." He plans to present his system at the Conference on Human Computation & Crowdsourcing in November.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.
- Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
- The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.