IEEE Symbiotic Autonomous Systems Webinar: Sentiment Analysis: from “Smart” City to “Happy” City


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Derrick de KerckhovePresenter: Derrick de Kerckhove


Although automated for text analysis since the late 1960s, Sentiment Analysis (SA) has been around since the invention of literature criticism. Henceforth addressed to the audience, not to the text, SA has been developed technically at least since 2002. It has, however, only recently been given prominence, owing to the manifold increase of available data, in particular thanks to social media. It is both an IoT and a Smart City issue.

What SA amounts to is the new possibility for institutions and businesses to listen to clients, patients, customers and citizens instead of simply imposing regulations, services and products. Of course, SA can offer advantage to various fields including health, municipal affairs, public administration, political process and policy evaluation, transportation, banking, insurance, security and business. SA has also become sufficiently affordable and relatively easy to make it valuable, if not mandatory, for public administrations to keep tabs on their charges’ feelings about their operation. The idea of the “happy city”, albeit naïve, is responding that of the “smart” city, bringing precisely an emotional content to what planners tend to measure in terms of efficiency. SA adds another set of criteria to manage smart cities and make use of available IoT. SA invites different levels of administration to target a significantly higher level of satisfaction within the social body. It is already happening in some cities. I will give examples both from case studies and from artists whose works hint at social emotion.

This approach could be particularly useful in the context of Singapore and other Asian cities that have made a great leap forward over European or American cities in terms of maximizing the adroit usage of IoT sensors present in their very large distribution of smartphones and public cameras.


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