Artificial Intelligence

Tracking Social Reactions to State of the Union Address – ISI technology in use

Sofus A. Macskassy, a project leader at ISI, has been working with InferLink, a tech startup in El Segundo, to develop technology to track public reactions to speeches as they happen.

By monitoring social media during a speech, and later getting a transcript of the speech, the technology analyzes public reactions to the speech itself as it happened by mapping posts to specific sentences. Leveraging timestamps of posts, they also identify when events happen during the speech: what are people wearing, who stands up and claps, and more. To make this useful and get deeper insight into the pulse of the public, they use statistics to identify significant reactions and break them down based on volume and various demographics such as gender and location. This technology has been used to track various speeches, most recently the 2013 State of the Union address by President Obama on February 12, 2013. The results of the analysis was made public early next morning, February 13, on, a site developed to showcase the technology.