Mobile devices make it easy to reach out to other people and stay connected. Most times it’s a blessing, but it can also be a curse. Would it help if you were told which messages will make you feel good or bad? Two computer scientists think so, and they have made an Android app that does just that.
The app was made by master’s student Lorraine Chambers and Dr. Mohamed Gaber of the University of Portsmouth School of Computing. The app uses sentiment analysis to decide if a Facebook, Twitter or text message is “good” or “bad”, i.e. it looks at the presence of certain words or phrases. The app labels good messages with a green highlight, bad ones with red and neutral ones with blue. The screenshot above should give you a good idea of what words can sway the app. The user will also be able to teach the app to improve its process, so you can keep saying things like “ill” and “wicked” and “Michael Bay is a genius.”
The intention behind it is pure, but I’m not sure if the app itself is a practical tool. A psychologist interviewed by BBC points out that even if a message was labeled “bad”, it might not give us peace of mind if we avoid reading that message. We’ll only end up worrying – or at least curious – about the contents of the message. And that’s assuming that the app works. Speaking of which, I don’t think the app will approve of its name: Stress @ Work.