The robot that can read newspapers “between the lines” was developed by specialists from the Laboratory for Analysis and Modeling of Social Processes at St. Petersburg State University. He identifies the changing mood in society by the tone and style of articles.
As the author of the unusual robot program Oleg Granichin told “MK”, the first thing the robot is tuned to a certain topic, choosing a particular section in the newspaper. For example, he “studies” every day (or weekly) all the editorials and, through analysis of changes in editorial style, builds a model of changing moods in society. However, he does this not according to certain thematic “labels” – words calling for rallies or the overthrow of the existing government, but according to a change in the style of articles (this is determined by a “subtle” mathematical analysis of the texts).
Granichin said he and his colleagues tested the system by uploading 817 issues of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahraam for 2010-2014 to the program. The robotic system clearly showed on the graphs the changes in the editorial style that preceded the social cataclysms of the “Arab Spring”.
“In principle, the program can be configured not only to search for changes in politically directed rhetoric, but also to change in any area of our society’s life: medicine, education, sports, science,” the developer explains. – At the same time, the method turned out to be very cunning, designed to recognize hidden, veiled by journalists assessments of what is happening. The program can also work in a situation where the controlled press is unable to directly and openly express its position to the reader.