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  • Twitter and big data could predict emergency room rush hours

    Newsweek - 04/19/2015

    David Lazer, a professor of political science and computer science at Northeastern University, questions how often people tweet about something they are so used to dealing with, such as a chronic illness. “There’s a novelty bias in social media,” says Lazer, who has not reviewed the University of Arizona study. “If you get the flu, that’s pretty unusual, so it’s plausible you might tweet about it…. For chronic things, you might not. People don’t typically issue their aches and pains report on Twitter.”

    Lazer adds: “There’s a lot of important things that we’d like to do better, predicting or protecting, and now we have a lot more data that are floating around that are certainly correlated with those things. And part of what the research community is racing to do is see which things stick.”

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