During the winter months, the worst thing to watch out for is the flu. Most people can get a shot and just not worry about it, but what about the people who can’t do that? What if a program told you when you would be getting sick up to a week in advance using the power of social media? Well a man from the University of Rochester in New York has done just that.
To break it down, Adam Sadilek devised a system that takes in tweets and location data from Twitter and can predict when an individual gets sick if they enter in an outbreak area. The program uses keywords found in the tweets to break down the data and formulate it into a map of sickness, and it is so smart that it can tell the difference between people saying they are sick of work and if they are actually showing symptoms of the flu or some other calculated and common disease.
Now predicting when a person starts feeling unwell is ok for knowing when to schedule your sick days at work but how about preventing them getting sick at all. That structure of artificial intelligence could feed into a location-based application for smartphones, tablets, or computers to warn people if they are about to enter a densely populated place of infected people and provide tips of avoiding the ailment. In the apocalyptic future, it could also be used a zombie prevention system since it is essentially a disease to the brain, we can only hope the zombies still tweet and Twitter still exists!