Iowa professors create tool to help decipher online speak
Social media and texting has its own subtle language and hidden meanings like "riiiiiiiiiight" or ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
- But the meta humor of online speak has mostly been passed over in the academia world. Until now.
Driving the news: Researchers at the University of Iowa have developed a new tool called "PARA" that's meant to help companies identify the sentiment of online communication, like responses to a tweet or Facebook post.
How it works: Most text analysis tools focus on what's being said rather than how something is being conveyed, said UI marketing professor Andrea Luangrath.
- When we're in-person, body language and facial cues give us non-verbal cues. But in text, emojis; punctuation; capslock; and rhythm are all used to give contextual meaning.
- PARA identifies non-verbal cues for whatever text is uploaded into the program. It is designed for researchers and marketers, but it's free for anyone to test out.
The bottom line: Maybe it'll help our northern neighbors figure out the difference between, "Sure, the Minnesota State Fair is great," and "Suuuuure, the Minnesota State Fair is great."
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