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Spin Detector for Politicians !

A professor from Queen’s University has developed software that detects the political hoopla that candidates add into their speeches. David Skillicorn from the School of Computing at Queen’s has some interesting findings from the election campaigns of the United States Presidential candidates. This software analyses the political speeches that the candidates deliver in each round of campaigning. The methodology used by Skillicorn involves significant data mining and mathematical concepts. Over weeks of analyses, the software has found that John McCain emerges as the most honest in his speech. Barack Obama twists the most and Hillary Clinton comes in between the two.

According to Skillicorn, there is a significant difference in the usage of terms like “we” and “I” in public speech. He added that people who tend to use “I” more often tend to be more responsible and honest in their outlook as compared to those who use “we”. In general thought, it is quite unclear who the “we” is composed of! In addition, the software also uses terms like “but” and “or” in its calculation. This program uses the frequency of 86 key words to calculate a “spin” score for each speech. The higher the score, the lesser is the spin in the speech. Accordingly, McCain scored a healthy 2, Hillary a 0.6 and Obama was trailing with -1.3.

We wonder what this software would conclude if tried out in India. Our netas would definitely score very high. Just which side of the scale is quite uncertain! Any takes?