EDF Energy, an energy supplier in London, has announced their Energy of the Nation initiative, in which they plan to illuminate the London Eye according to how Twitter users are feeling about the Olympics each day. EDF, along with a group of 70s-minded MIT grads, has developed an algorithm to convert "real-time social emotions into colour and motion—tweets to light show."
The algorithm, a sentiment system known as Sentistrength, is designed to pick up on both positive and negative words and phrases which have been added to a dictionary of relevant terms. According to The Telegraph:
Phrases such as ‘totes amazeballs' ... in conjunction with the Olympics is proving popular at the moment and so has been added to Thelwall's growing dictionary.
Sentistrength can also detect new words which are not found in standard English, such as ... LOL (laugh out loud) and omg (oh my god).
Emoticons will also be considered, as will punctuation. Not sure yet how this system will account for grammar and spelling mistakes. Or sarcasm. But perhaps it's a more accurate mood indicator than body heat?
Image via PA Wire
London Eye to be transformed into Twitter sentiment pie chart during Olympics [wired.co.uk]
Happy Olympic tweeters to light up London Eye [The Telegraph]