Twitter: a behavioral analysis tool that Elon Musk came to turn upside down

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Twitter: a behavioral analysis tool that Elon Musk came to turn upside down< /p> © Lionel BONAVENTURE/AFP/Archives Using computer science and artificial intelligence, researchers train algorithms to dissect comments shared on the social network.

At the heart of the news since its takeover by Elon Musk, Twitter has been the subject of analysis for many researchers for years, to study the behavior of its users. Using computer science and artificial intelligence, algorithms are designed to dissect the comments shared on the social network, in particular to study the state of mind of users. Algorithms are already capable of detecting behavioral changes in society and identifying emotional disorders in users, in real time.

A bot that can tell if you are suffering from depression

According to a study published in January 2022 by researchers from Brunel University London and the University of Leicester, a newly developed algorithm would be able to detect depression in Twitter users, with an accuracy of 88.39%. By extracting and analyzing 38 data points from his public Twitter profile, such as the content of his posts (positive and negative words, use of emojis), post times or number of friends and followers, this artificial intelligence can determine the psychological state of a person.

Applications in psychology, law or human resources

According to a press release from Brunel University, such a system could assess a person's mental health, which would open the door to different applications: sentiment analysis, criminal investigations, or recruitment. According to the researchers, this technology is also able to assess the degree of psychological alteration of a user even before they publish something, which could allow platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to react more quickly in the event of a mishap. 'emergency. “The proposed algorithm is platform independent, so it can be easily extended to other social media systems such as Facebook or WhatsApp”, said Professor Huiyu Zhou, professor of machine learning at the University of Leicester.

And the behavior of Elon Musk?

The Twitter regulars wonder what the platform will look like now that it's owned by Elon Musk. Some fear the spread of online harassment or “misinformation”, others are more concerned about the privacy of their data. If Elon Musk theoretically has access to all the data of the service (tweets, likes, DMs, lists of subscribers and people followed), note that it is possible to save all your old tweets and download an archive of your data directly through the Twitter app. As for DMs (private messages), note that Elon Musk is rather a follower of confidentiality. He has often promoted Signal encrypted messaging, saying “Twitter DMs should be end-to-end encrypted, like Signal, so no one can snoop or hack the messages.”

As to the said “misinformation” against which the West is struggling to fight, Elon Musk reassures:

The knee-jerk reaction of those who are afraid of free speech speaks volumes… By “free speech”, I hear everything that is in accordance with the law. I am against censorship, which goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask the government for laws to support it. To go beyond the law is to go against the will of the people.