Politicians like to talk. And analyzing their speeches could tell us a lot of interesting things. But analyzing all of these speeches is more than a human can handle. So its time for an AI. But even an AI can run into some trouble.
Factba.se is an interesting project that has the goal of going after every speech and every word that was uttered by Donald Trump. Whether it was on Facebook, in a news conference or a Tweet. Since it was started three years ago it gathered more than a thousand of hours of video and rewrite text with over 10.6 million words from 1976 to now.
To make this project a bit easier the people behind the project – more precisely the boss of FactSquared Bill Frischling and his coworkers developed an AI bot nicknamed Margaret. Margaret's task is to observe Trump's public appearances, understand what he is talking about, and put his speeches into written words.
When Margaret got tested it was tested on a part of Trump's speech that he said on the 4th of May 2017. This speech was full of Trump's quirky syntax, mannerisms, and somewhat problematic word ordering. Once Margaret started analyzing it collapsed almost immediately.
The problem was that Margaret tried working with the speech as if it was regular English. But it was Trump's English. So to get Margaret going it had to unlearn regular English and learn Trumplish. The primary goal of this AI was to database everything Trump ever said. But another option is to use Margaret as a tool for analyzing Trump's behavior during his speeches.
Some of the things the AI found out are: When Trump isn't saying the truth he doesn't seem to be stressed. Or the fact that when Trump reads from a teleprompter his speed decreases from roughly 220 words per minute to roughly 111 words per minute. And Margaret is also capable of figuring out when Trump is angry and when he is only pretending to be angry. It is connected with the austerity of his speech and with how much he gesticulates with his hands.
Margaret isn't the first AI bot that analyzes Trump's speech. But most likely it will be the first one to analyze practically everything Trump has ever said in public.
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