Call it the world’s largest mood ring. At 9:00 p.m. (London time) each night during the Olympics and Paralympics, the London Eye, the city’s famous Ferris wheel, will light up according to the day’s Twitter sentiment to gauge how people in London are feeling about the Games.
And MIT alumni are making it all happen.
The project, called Energy of the Nation, is sponsored by EDF Energy and uses an algorithm that linguistically analyzes tweets related to the Games and ranks the sentiments as positive or negative. The algorithm was developed by the art and technology studio Sosolimited, a company cofounded by Justin Manor ’00, SM ’03; John Rothenberg ’02, SM ’07; and Eric Gunther ’00, MNG ’02 in 2003. Sosolimited creates interactive installations, applications, and live performances.
Only Tweets originating from the UK that make reference to the Olympics via hashtags and related terms will be analyzed. The algorithm scores words based on emotion. According to the EDF Energy website, “emotional words like ‘brilliant’ (+3) and ‘failure’ (-4) will be given scores and for each sentence, booster (or negative) words such as ‘very’ (+1), ‘almost’ (-0.6), or ‘never’ (*0) will modify the emotional score of any of the words they are found near.” And emoticons and punctuation count!!!
Says Sosolimited cofounder Justin Manor on the Wired UK website, “The algorithm we developed converts real-time social emotions into color and motion—tweets to light show. We distill 24 hours of action into a 24-minute visual concert that embodies the emotional peaks and troughs of the day.”
Learn more about how it all works.
Not going to be in London? No worries. It will also be livestreamed.