It’s been well documented that 2015 was not a good year for the pollsters. ForrestBrown explore how research and development in next generation polling techniques offer opportunity for pollsters to change the way they collect and interpret information.

“Another piece of the technology jigsaw that is starting to inform election polling is machine learning. Huge companies like Google and IBM take great interest in this area and have initiatives like Deep Mind and Watson respectively, but we are going to look at an Oxford University spin-out called TheySay.

TheySay has developed a hybrid engine with advanced linguistic algorithms coupled with machine learning that can analyse sentiment in big data sources like social media, emails and blogs. Their service can study, comprehend and evaluate opinions and emotions expressed in text and turn it into quantifiable data.

One of the key machine learning challenges they have overcome is to produce a system that can be transparently interrogated, so that each AI decision made can be monitored, reviewed and adjusted if necessary. They suggest that other statistical machine learning systems can reach a certain level of accuracy but cannot be verified or corrected as theirs can.”

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Andy Pritchard

Andy Pritchard