Analyzing Donald Trump’s Speeches

I am currently doing some text analysis with IBM’s Alchemy. I thought that it would be amusing and somewhat interesting to run some transcripts of Donald Trump speeches through the online demo, particularly to see the results of Alchemy’s emotion analysis:

Sure enough, out of the 5 emotions of anger, disgust, fear, joy and sadness, the negative emotions ‘trump’ the positive emotions, with anger and fear being the most prominent. Here is an example speech and its emotion scores

Anger 1
Disgust 0.086204
Fear 0.981015
Joy 0.067289
Sadness 0.086029

Upcoming Talk: Truth and integrity constraints in logical database updating/merging

I’ll be giving a talk later this month at the RMIT CSIT Seminar Series.

Date and Time: Friday 27th November, 2015. 11.30am – 12.30pm.

Venue: RMIT, Swanston St, Melbourne, Building 80 (Swanston Academic Building), Level 5, Room 12 (080.05.012)

Abstract: Methods for the updating/merging of logical databases have traditionally been mainly concerned with the relations between pieces of data and the logical coherence of operations without as much concern for whether the datasets resulting from such operations have epistemically valuable properties such as truth and relevance. Gardenfors for example, who developed the predominant AGM framework for belief revision, argues that the concepts of truth and falsity become irrelevant for the analysis of belief change as “many epistemological problems can be attacked without using the notions of truth and falsity”.

However this may be, given that agents process incoming data with the goal of using it, this lacuna between updating/merging and epistemic utilities such as truth and relevance merits attention. In this talk I address this issue by looking at some ways in which updating/merging methods can be supplemented and shaped when combined with formal measures of truthlikeness, including cases where integrity constraints are involved.

Top Ten philosophical issues of the 21st Century

According to this list of the top ten philosophical issues of the 21st century, one of them is:

6. Information and misinformation in the information age.
The 21st century threatens to wreak havoc on the social organization of information and knowledge. We are awash in a glut of information coming at us from all sources — some reliable, some unreliable. But the old top-down authorities that once functioned to certify some information as true and other information as false, are quickly being dismantled. How can we distinguish the good from the bad, the wheat from the chaff? We philosophers for a new century thus face epistemological problems hardly imagined by our predecessors.