Newest Twitter Feature: Predicting the Future

You know, Twitter can do a lot of things: it tells you what the world is thinking and, similarly, lets you tell the world what’s on your mind. But now you can add a new feature to that list: predicting the future.

At least, that’s the word out of HP’s The Social Computing Lab in Palo Alto. After studying the relationship between tweets and box-office revenue for movies, they discovered that Twitter was a better predictor of success for a film that standard industry research tools.

Just as fascinating as the results are how they were obtained: the team used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service, which employs humans to pore through scads of data (yeah, we don’t know what the deal with the name is either) and then created an algorithm to sift through all that information.

The researchers also suggest that the same social media analysis could be used for other, less trite reasons like elections and policy-making.

[Source: The Technium]

By navneetalang

Navneet Alang is a technology-culture writer based in Toronto. You can find him on Twitter at @navalang

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