The SAGE Ocean team are currently at IC2S2 - the 4th Annual International Conference on Computational Social Science, which is taking place at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Here's a round up of the action on Friday.
The day began with a keynote from Duncan Watts, Principal Researcher at Microsoft. His talk, Contagion on Social Networks, explored social discourse prediction. With good humor, the attendees were informed that (unfortunately for us) a tweet’s content carries very little weight in how popular or influential it will be. When predicting the potential influence of a tweet, the user’s profile and historical influence will have a far greater impact than the content of the tweet itself.
Duncan’s talk was followed by a series of presentations from attendees of the Datathon, which took place on Thursday.
Activities conducted by the teams included scraping scripts from IMDB (Internet Movie Database) to gauge the happiness and success of female film characters in comparison to male characters; and scraping US and German newspaper publications to reveal that each nations’ view of themselves have remained practically unchanged for 50 years. Sentiment analysis was a popular technique, and used in all 3 projects.
Ian Couzin’s fascinating keynote on the study of social groups of fish, birds, insects and primates, took conference delegates into the realm of biology. Ian showed how the collective behaviour of animals can be predicted, but also how the same influencer models can be applied to human beings.
To end the day, David Ferrucci talked about his work Elemental Cognition, exploring the field of natural learning, which enables machines to learn from humans to better understand language and the 'why' behind each answer.
As well as offering a series of engaging keynotes, IC2S2 also provided a breakout sessions on a variety of topics including Text and Social Media, Health & Well-Being and Politics.
The sessions yesterday were a fantastic start to the conference and we are looking forward to another day of fascinating sessions over the rest of the weekend.