Social media is a great way to get in touch with people. Last year, US department store Kenneth Cole tweeted “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online”, failing to check why Cairo was trending (it was because of the uprising which overthrew the government). You can avoid the making such gaffes by using a new service called Veooz.
Pronounced views, the website offers a mirror to the Internet, by giving you a sentiment rating for the word you searched. It trawls social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc.) in addition to blogs, and provides a positive or negative score. “It helps you make an informed decision about a topic, instead of just seeing trends without knowing how people feel about them,” says Prasad Pingali, founder of Veooz.
The website uses natural language processing and sentiment analysis technologies to give you a simple set-up in almost real time. Veooz was born at the IIT Hyderabad incubator and is a result of years of research in artificial intelligence and related fields. “We were testing it while the Olympics were on and during a Saina Nehwal match we could see the sentiment change with every point,” says Pingali. An impressive feature is that the site uses is semantic research where the searches SRK and Shah Rukh Khan return the same results. “This is not available even in the leading search engines,” he Pingali.
Currently, Prasad and co are looking at adding new features. “We’re able to detect specific emotions like anger, sorrow and joy and we’re looking to give our users precise emotion for their searches. We’re working on a comparison feature where if you type Obama and Romney (US Presidential candidates), you’ll be able to see the sentiment for both,” says Pingali. A mobile app is also in the laboratory right now.