To avoid system errors, if Chrome is your preferred browser, please update to the latest version of Chrome (81 or higher) or use an alternative browser.
Click here to login if you're an NAE Member
Recover Your Account Information
Please upgrade to a newer browser.
Randy Atkins: Google already uses web search data to estimate flu activity…but Mark Dredze, a computer scientist at Johns Hopkins, says social media – like Twitter broadcasts complaining about illness – may be more direct.
Mark Dredze: We think, in general, this is a better way of getting more detailed information about people because they’re sharing information instead of searching for information.
Randy Atkins: While humans can easily tell the difference between tweets like “I have the flu” and “I hope I don’t get the flu,” Dredze is training computers to do that on a massive scale.
Mark Dredze: To automate that process we rely on natural language processing which takes text that people write and we’re analyzing it for what the intention of the statement is.
Randy Atkins: Then geo-locate and tally people’s comments about illnesses, and Dredze says you should know where outbreaks are occurring. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.