Identifying depression on social media

I was skimming Arxiv yesterday and came across Moin Nadeem‘s paper on Identifying Depression on Twitter.

I am a little skeptical of the area due to the Samaritan’s Radar application. There is an awful lot that is good to the paper and the work in it and clearly the model has something very positive about it.

My concern, and I don’t see it addressed in this paper, is that it is a snapshot moment and may miss a trend.I think that if an application is going to look for depressive trends, or someone falling into a cycle, then it needs to be temporal as well. Instead of accepting that a Bag of Words at a moment is a key value in identifying an issue, we perhaps ought to see it in cycles and for applications to be able to model whether a social entity is getting worse or better.

That might make the application more useful but it does involve privacy issues. Therein lies a knotty problem. Although the data may be openly available, matching and following the data allows inference to determine other things within it.

That is not a circle that is easily squared.


Talking Heads

A link has been surfacing on Joseph Faber‘s Euphonia, a nineteenth Century text-to-speech device. Using mechanics, it appears to have spoken whilst being controlled by a human. It takes the Victorian fascination with automata to new levels.


Is UX really providing user experience?

Although I am not a gamer (no, have not played a game for years), Benjamin Brandell’s reflections on User Experience in 1990s games is a provoking read. His thesis is the contentious: the evolution of UX — although we know it now as a way to keep users sticking around — this is from a time period when it wasn’t […]


Facebook getting some spatial audio

I’ve just seen the news about Facebook buying the 3D Audio company, Two Big Ears, to support its spatial and virtual reality businesses via Techcrunch. They are also releasing their 3DCeption as a free download. I look forward to playing with it at some point soon. At this moment, it appears that the workstation is […]


Audio fingerprinting and AudioContext study

Having a quick surf around this morning on the bus, I came across this post on Techcrunch about a study from Princeton University into online trackers. They were able to create a fingerprint of a machine using the AudioContext API that allowed for the tracking of machines. As the article mentions, online privacy will be […]


Here, hear – exploring the city with Here Active Listening

I was lucky enough to get a set of Here Active Listening buds from DopplerLabs. The buds are a set of small digital signal processors (DSP) that sit in the ears. They are about the size an in-ear bud and sit snugly in the ear canal (with changeable rubber seats) that are paired by Bluetooth […]


Auto play on audio user experience

I was fortunate enough to talk at UX in the City Oxford last Friday about audio. Thanks to Software Acumen and the programme committee for the invitation. One of the questions asked was that of audio patterns on the web, which is a layer above where I normally work. One of the anti-patterns that I […]


Notes from visualisation workshop

Notes from yesterday’s Digital Humanities visualisation colloquium at Reading on 31 March. Reuse of models in different form: tensions between drama and academic use. Life of Rome as MMORPG. VR seems big: Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. What’s the sustainability? As the tools become more available and publication modes. How does the digital output fit […]


Sonifying the cityscape

My wife came across a project on Makezine which, ahem, sounded interesting. Akko Goldenbeld created a map of Eindhoven on a drum that struck keys on a piano as it rotates. The resulting work appears to be called Citymusic or Stadsmuziek.


An evening of lights in London

Yesterday evening, I went along to the early part of the evening at the Lumiere Show in London.  I stayed around the Regents Street and Trafalgar Square side. It was a touch crowded crowded as I made my way down from Oxford Street to Trafalgar Square. I did spend a little time at the junction […]