from the world's big
Mathematicians studied 100 billion tweets to help computer algorithms better understand our colloquial digital communication.
- A group of mathematicians from the University of Vermont used Twitter to examine how young people intentionally stretch out words in text for digital communication.
- Analyzing the language in roughly 100 billion tweets generated over eight years, the team developed two measurements to assess patterns in the tweets: balance and stretch.
- The words people stretch are not arbitrary but rather have patterned distributions such as what part of the word is stretched or how much it stretches out.
Balance and Stretch<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM2NTg3My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMTEwMjM4NH0.P2pcKvbcsKKi8_0RTsDrsIABnxSHybXZYOLxHYT-KZk/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=6%2C0%2C6%2C0&height=700" id="df914" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ddc7d5797ec2a42182452a971813111e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Photo credit: Dole777 / Unsplash<p>Over the last two decades, social media has provided scientists with a trove of free information about human behavior and language. A group of mathematicians from the University of Vermont used Twitter to examine how young people intentionally stretch out words in text for digital communication. They created a method to essentially quantify the semantic nuances in between stretched words, like "right" vs. "riiiiiight," with the aim to teach future AI algorithms human digital colloquialisms.</p><p>"Written communication has recently begun encoding new forms of expression, including the emotional emphasis delivered by stretching words out," <a href="https://www.techrepublic.com/article/sayyy-whatttt-researchers-analyze-strange-human-tweets-to-build-better-ai/" target="_blank">said Chris Danforth</a>, professor of Mathematics & Statistics in the Vermont Complex Systems Center and member of the research team behind the study.</p><p>In their study, published last week in the journal PLOS One, the team analyzed the language in roughly 100 billion tweets generated from 2008 to 2016. They developed two measurements to assess patterns in the tweets: balance and stretch. For example hahahaha would be considered a stretched world high on balance while a term like wtffffff has stretch but little balance as only one letter, f, contributes to the stretchiness. This means to put emphasis on the world abbreviated by the letter "f". </p><p>"With so much communication happening electronically these days, we're all trying to find ways to convey emotion through text. Emojis are helping, but the visual effect of 30 consecutive vowels in a curse word turns a bland profanity into a form of art," Danforth said.</p><p>Interestingly, the use of elongated words was found across languages. For example, "kkkkkkk" signifies laughter in Brazilian Portuguese while "wkwkwkwkwkwk" expresses it in Indonesian, according to the researchers. </p>
Beyond the dictionary<p>Ultimately, this project could help artificial intelligence algorithms understand critical intrinsic meanings contained in the idiosyncratic variations in our communicative text or other linguistic symbols, such as punctuation and emojis.</p> <p>Dictionary definitions hardly reflect the way that we actually communicate with one another digitally. What the researchers found, though, is that the words people stretch out aren't arbitrary. Rather, they have patterned distributions such as what part of the word is stretched or how much it stretches out. Colloquial digital language is, after all, a system of symbols and for it to transfer meaning we must all be "in" on the patterns. </p> <p>This research suggests that by gaining understanding into stretched words used on social media opens more doors to helping AI better understand our slang. Tools and methods were developed that could be useful in future studies, for example investigations of intentional mis-typings and misspellings. </p> <p>What benefits come from AI algorithms better understanding our digital lingo? For one, it's possible that new tools could be applied to improve natural language processing, search engines, and spam filters. </p> <p>"We were able to comprehensively collect and count stretched words like 'gooooooaaaalll' and 'hahahaha'," the researchers <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200527150155.htm" target="_blank">said in a press release</a>, "and map them across the two dimensions of overall stretchiness and balance of stretch, while developing new tools that will also aid in their continued linguistic study, and in other areas, such as language processing, augmenting dictionaries, improving search engines, analyzing the construction of sequences, and more."</p>
Really knowing your way around Microsoft Excel is a wise move for any modern entrepreneur.
- While Excel is known as a spreadsheet program, it can be used as a dynamic and powerful analytics tool.
- Business owners use Excel to keep their books running smoothly.
- From visual charts to pivot tables, Microsoft's classic program has much to offer.
To stay healthy and strong, make sure you're getting adequate sleep.
- An estimated 47 million Americans do not get enough sleep every night.
- Proper sleep is one of the most important components of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- While individuals vary, adults generally need seven to nine hours of sleep.
Should humans fear artificial intelligence or welcome it into our lives?
- Sophia the Robot of Hanson Robotics can mimic human facial expressions and humor, but is that just a cover? Should humans see AI as a threat? She, of course, says no.
- New technologies are often scary, but ultimately they are just tools. Sophia says that it is the intent of the user that makes them dangerous.
- The future of artificial intelligence and whether or not it will backfire on humanity is an ongoing debate that one smiling robot won't settle.
How can we track the spread of COVID-19 where testing is not widely available? How can global health be improved by innovation and cooperation? Over the last few years, Kinsa has given away or sold millions of internet-connected thermometers to households across the US to collect data that can help predict and prevent flu outbreaks in US communities. Now, that smart tech is being leveraged to create the only real-time map of the coronavirus spread. In this live session with Kinsa founder and CEO Inder Singh, you'll learn how innovation can help us map global health threats, the best personal health practices during the COVID-19 outbreak, and why innovation in the health sector is critical to our global future.