A research reveals that the knowledge we talk to Fb, nicely analyzed, is able to predicting whether or not we’ll find yourself in hospital emergencies or not months upfront.

The 21st century is prone to be remembered in historical past books, in addition to the century of the coronavirus, because the century during which social media was born. Billions of individuals at the moment are entangled –clearly– within the varied networks. They dedicate to them an period of time, effort and emotional vitality by no means seen within the historical past of humanity. Between cinema, tv, video video games and social networks, the hours that we have now already invested in entrance of the screens are numerous.

Nevertheless, regardless of the time spent spreading insubstantial memes which might be repeated over and over infecting our minds, weak to them as if it had been digital coronavirus, the knowledge that every of us has left on social networks provides a formidable knowledge mine. Information that, nicely analyzed, can present necessary data.

Inform me the way you write (on Fb) and I will predict your well being

Simply over a 12 months in the past, Wired journal claimed that Facebook knows more about its users than the CIA. Beforehand, a number of research have proven that Fb can determine our personality extra precisely than our personal accomplice. And simply by analyzing the likes issued. I have no idea if this means the potential of Fb to get to know one another or our incapability and that of our companions to realize it. Added to that is one other latest research exhibiting that evaluation of Fb posts can reveal the current health status of people. Be that as it might, the facility of this social community by no means ceases to amaze.

The intense factor concerning the matter is that the knowledge that we give to Fb for posterity is larger than we suppose. Along with the content material of our posts, or to state which posts of our pals we like and which we do not, there are the phrases we use. The language model of every of our publications additionally incorporates helpful data that may be extracted and used. Specifically, it incorporates details about our future well being standing earlier than we understand it ourselves.

The data that we talk to Fb, nicely analyzed, is able to predicting whether or not or not we’ll find yourself in hospital emergencies months upfront. Is what they’ve discovered a group of computer engineers and data scientists. To succeed in this conclusion, they labored with 2,915 sufferers who consented to switch their scientific knowledge and, after all, to entry their Fb historical past.

Language adjustments weeks earlier than going to the emergency room

Of those sufferers, 419 wanted to go to the emergency room for varied issues, from a sophisticated being pregnant to a myocardial infarction. Their Fb posts, as much as two and a half months earlier than they visited the hospital, had been analyzed with a synthetic intelligence program developed by the researchers.

As soon as skilled, the software program was in a position to detect very refined adjustments within the model of language utilized by every affected person. It additionally recognized slight variations within the frequency of use of sure phrases that, amongst different issues, are related to temper. We normally use them even with out being conscious of it.

The evaluation revealed, amongst different issues, that because the date of their go to to the emergency room approached, and though the individuals didn’t but know what was coming, their Fb entries elevated the frequency with which they addressed problems with well being, or issues associated to your loved ones. On the similar time, many of the individuals elevated the frequency of utilizing phrases that mirrored a state of hysteria or fear. Additionally they decreased the usage of casual language.

As if that weren’t sufficient, a couple of days earlier than going to the emergency room, the language utilized by the individuals modified considerably. Particularly, the individuals prevented speaking about leisure subjects, notably decreasing the usage of phrases corresponding to “play”, “enjoyable” or “humorous”.

The target of those investigations is to attempt to acquire knowledge that, along with these already current within the area of medication, permit the well being wants of the inhabitants to be predicted with better precision and sufficiently upfront, so as to have the ability to meet them with higher ensures.

Data versus Privateness

Nevertheless, giving free rein to research the model of language used on Fb might reveal private data, aware or unconscious, that we want to preserve hidden. As with every new software that know-how is making accessible to us, computerized language evaluation can be utilized for the frequent good. However we additionally run the danger that some particular person makes use of it to learn on the expense of the frequent good.

I am unable to assist however keep in mind that unforgettable scene from the film 2001 a Space Odyssey during which considered one of our ancestors discovers that a big bone can be utilized as a strong weapon, and that new energy locations it above different animals. New synthetic intelligence instruments additionally present nice new energy that may put some individuals above others. Or, quite the opposite, it may be used to extend equality amongst all and the welfare of Humanity. We are going to see.


_A version of this article It was initially printed on the weblog Quilo de Ciencia and the newspaper La Tribuna de Albacete.


Jorge Laborda Fernandez, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Castilla-La Mancha university

This text was initially printed on The Conversation. learn the original.

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