Location-Based Twitter Sentiment Analysis for Predicting the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election

AAAI Conferences

We seek to determine the effectiveness of using location-based social media to predict the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. To this aim, we create a dataset consisting of approximately 3 million tweets ranging from September 22nd to November 8th related to either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Twenty-one states are chosen, with eleven categorized as swing states, five as Clinton favored and five as Trump favored. We incorporate two metrics in polling voter opinion for election outcomes: tweet volume and positive sentiment. Our data is labeled via a convolutional neural network trained on the sentiment140 dataset. To determine whether Twitter is an indicator of election outcome, we compare our results to the election outcome per state and across the nation. We use two approaches for determining state victories: winner-take-all and shared elector count. Our results show tweet sentiment mirrors the close races in the swing states; however, the differences in distribution of positive sentiment and volume between Clinton and Trump are not significant using our approach. Thus, we conclude neither sentiment nor volume is an accurate predictor of election results using our collection of data and labeling process.


Temporal Topic Analysis with Endogenous and Exogenous Processes

AAAI Conferences

We consider the problem of modeling temporal textual data taking endogenous and exogenous processes into account. Such text documents arise in real world applications, including job advertisements and economic news articles, which are influenced by the fluctuations of the general economy. We propose a hierarchical Bayesian topic model which imposes a "group-correlated" hierarchical structure on the evolution of topics over time incorporating both processes, and show that this model can be estimated from Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling methods. We further demonstrate that this model captures the intrinsic relationships between the topic distribution and the time-dependent factors, and compare its performance with latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) and two other related models. The model is applied to two collections of documents to illustrate its empirical performance: online job advertisements from DirectEmployers Association and journalists' postings on BusinessInsider.com.


What Is an Opinion About? Exploring Political Standpoints Using Opinion Scoring Model

AAAI Conferences

In this paper, we propose a generative model to automatically discover the hidden associations between topics words and opinion words. By applying those discovered hidden associations, we construct the opinion scoring models to extract statements which best express opinionists’ standpoints on certain topics. For experiments, we apply our model to the political area. First, we visualize the similarities and dissimilarities between Republican and Democratic senators with respect to various topics. Second, we compare the performance of the opinion scoring models with 14 kinds of methods to find the best ones. We find that sentences extracted by our opinion scoring models can effectively express opinionists’ standpoints.


'Explainable Artificial Intelligence': Cracking open the black box of AI

#artificialintelligence

At a demonstration of Amazon Web Services' new artificial intelligence image recognition tool last week, the deep learning analysis calculated with near certainty that a photo of speaker Glenn Gore depicted a potted plant. "It is very clever, it can do some amazing things but it needs a lot of hand holding still. AI is almost like a toddler. They can do some pretty cool things, sometimes they can cause a fair bit of trouble," said AWS' chief architect in his day two keynote at the company's summit in Sydney. Where the toddler analogy falls short, however, is that a parent can make a reasonable guess as to, say, what led to their child drawing all over the walls, and ask them why.


Developing a NLP based PR platform for the Canadian Elections

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Elections are a vital part of democracy allowing people to vote for the candidate they think can best lead the country. A candidate's campaign aims to demonstrate to the public why they think they are the best choice. However, in this age of constant media coverage and digital communications, the candidate is scrutinized at every step. A single misquote or negative news about a candidate can be the difference between him winning or losing the election. It becomes crucial to have a public relations manager who can guide and direct the candidate's campaign by prioritizing specific campaign activities. One critical aspect of the PR manager's work is to understand the public perception of their candidate and improve public sentiment about the candidate.