This project plans to further develop a comprehensive platform to compute Collective Social Intelligence from social media data. It currently uses Twitter as a starting point, and brings in news, multimedia, Wikipedia and Linked Open Data as complementary data and background knowledge for analysis. Its detailed analysis encompasses spatio-temporal-thematic (where, when, what), people-content-networking (who and how), and emotion-sentiment-intent (perceptions & impact). While social media capabilities are currently predominately used as a means of delivering messages, this technology is designed to gain insights and potentially predict trends using data gathered from social media.
Social media analysis will have broad implications on gaining insights on a wide variety of human activities, ranging from business to science and engineering. This project plans to support transitioning research on advanced social media analysis techniques and early state technology into their real world products and services to potentially help improve the quality of decision-makers and their products.
As part of NSF funded research projects on the topic of social media analysis and open data, we developed a technology for collective social intelligence. It is embodied as a prototype system called Twitris, which has been used to monitor, analyze, and seek insights for a variety of events such as natural disasters and social movements. From a commercialization perspective, we anticipated applications in media and political sectors as well as branding and marketing (brand awareness and protection). This I-Corp project's objective consisted of (a) starting the process of transferring a research prototype into a separate licensable version with enhancements necessary to build a commercial version of the software and (b) validating technology with respect to initial market targets. If successful, this may be followed by forming a startup or identifying an existing business that would license Twitris technology from Wright State University. Four primary outcomes were identified to render Twitris technology "commercialization worthy" and "market ready": 1) implementing system management utilities, 2) developing the initial production architecture and developing a scalability plan, 3) improving usability through modularization and enhancing the user interface and 4) validating the product and initiate a business model development through customer trials and independent reviews. This I-Corps project was carried out by three key persons that fit the profiles called for by the I-Corps program: Kurtis Mullins as the entrepreneur lead, Jim Leftwitch as the mentor, and Amit Sheth as the PI. I-Corpâ€™s supported resources were too limited to make substantial progress on maturing the technology but the project supported development of a concrete plan towards that goal. The team was successful in creating a separate functional system and making some of the improvements, but more remains to be done to make the system commercial grade. In line with the I-Corps program focus, the project team learned the principles of business model development, and intensively worked on market validation and customer discovery. Ninety-five customer interviews were completed while completing a series of evaluation on relevance and readiness of market segments, access to customers, and a possible revenue model. The team made a "go" decision and made plans to carry on the next steps for technology commercialization and company formation. The next steps towards technology maturation and technology commercialization were identified.