Every year, we hear from the President of the United States regarding the current State of the Union. The State of the Union address is an event to which¬†millions of Americans tune in to learn the president’s perspective on the present and the future. The address is then followed by extensive analysis in all forms of print and broadcast media. Last night was no exception – except ¬†that this time, journalists could take advantage of the power of IBM Watson and Cognitive Computing.

While the President delivered his address to the nation, his words were recorded for the history books – and for Watson. Combining those words with the power of IBM Watson Personality Insights, one of our Watson Developer Cloud services,¬†provides¬†deeper insights into the meaning and sentiment behind the President’s words.
State of the Union 2015, Photo by whitehouse.gov
Following this year’s address, MSNBC published How a supercomputer sees the State of the Union, an article that explains how they used the IBM Watson Personality Insights service, formerly known as User Modeling, to analyze and gather insights on the President’s speech. They then¬†used the Personality Insights service to analyze 14 other State of the Union addresses from 2001 to¬†2015, and compared the sentiments of each address over the years to¬†see how they differ.

How did Personality Insights analyze the State of the Union address?

The service identifies 52 different characteristics taken from any text input Рthe more data, the more accurate the results. What the Personality Insights service is able to accomplish in a matter of minutes or seconds can take political analysts hours or days to complete.

Personally, I have used the User Modeling to analyze¬†text ranging from¬†tweets to novels. Thanks to the User Modeling service, I recently learned that the text of Moby Dick is highly sympathetic and that the first Hunger Games book has a high percentage of challenge. Analyzing an entire novel gives you the feeling of the whole story, while analyzing and comparing individual chapters lets you¬†see how a story changes and evolves. You can process even large samples of text in under 10 seconds – it’s definitely worth trying out!
visualizationsotu Example of visualization return from Personality Insights
The Watson Personality Insights service is available on IBM Bluemix, which offers free trial accounts. Check out the Bluemix blog post detailing how to use User Modeling template applications, known as boilerplates, to create your own State of the Union style app on Bluemix in less than 5 minutes!

Want to learn more?

Check out the links below for information on Personality Insights and other Watson services

More info on Personality Insights
Try a live demo of Personality Insights
See documentation on Personality Insights
Check out all the Watson Services
Learn more about Bluemix and Watson

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