“It’s in the tone, dear Watson.”

Remember when I stayed up all night to count the number of occurrences of every word I uttered on the blog?  I didn’t do it by hand, I used technology.

The exciting story of how I did that is here if you want to take that trip down memory lane.

Remember back in 2011 when a computer “named” Watson took on the top Jeopardy! champions and won?

Have you ever noticed the popular game show, Jeopardy! has an exclamation point in its title?  I didn’t notice it myself until I wrote this post about the exclamation point!

Have you ever wondered if I am going to get to the point of this post or if I am just going to revel in the past?

Fear not.  There is a direction to all of this:

This post is about using technology, specifically IBM’s Watson technology referenced above to analyze tone.

Watson is a great big computer that can do a whole lot more than beat pesky humans at quiz games.  “He” is being used to answer questions in natural human language, make decisions in the medical field, and now, analyze the tone in a body of text.

What better way to put “him” though “his” paces then to feed him every post on Not Sheep Minded and let “him” see if “he” can figure out if I’m happy, sad, tentative, or mad.

Can it be done?

The short answer is yes.  IBM has given us, the public, an API (Application Programming Interface) that we can use to give Watson some work to do.  We’re allowed to feed it up to 100, 000 bytes of text.  That’s about 50,000 words on average.

Since WordPress has an API as well, one thing can connect to the other like magic.  As long as some poor sheep stays up all night reading the documentation and writing the code to glue it all together.

There are many ways to organize a body of work, such as one of our blogs.  We can organize them in categories.  We can organize them using tags.  I plan to present a slightly different way in the coming days.  I plan to organize my posts by tone.

Here’s how it works:

Each blog post will get a rating between 0 to 1 for the following tones, or moods:

Anger, fear, joy, sadness, analytical, confident, and tentative.

I plan to do a post on each. For example, Not Sheep Minded’s top angry posts, or Not Sheep Minded’s most sad posts.

The truly sad part is how much time I have spent on this.  But just think of how truly joyful I will be if it works.  Then again I might be kind of angry if it doesn’t.

All this analysis has made me very tentative.


18 thoughts on ““It’s in the tone, dear Watson.”

      1. While I could use some psychoanalysis, that’s not why.

        The technology can be applied to comments, etc. to see which posts resonate with readers. Or I can measure it against traffic to see if my readers prefer a happy, sad, or angry post.

        The call centre industry uses this technology a lot.

        Truth is, you’re probably right. Probably a useless endeavour.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ah. The mind of a data head. I can relate. The hours spent scanning code for that one infinite loop or a misplaced semicolon that fucked up the CSS or the broken connection to the backend SQL database. Always seeking data. It’s like looking for repeating patterns in nature. 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

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