Would you be willing to share your Facebook and Twitter posts with a car company to find out how positive you are?
For Sept. 13, International Positive Thinking Day, Chevy made the Global Positivity System (GPS) with artificial intelligence provided by IBM Watson. When granted access to your Facebook or Twitter accounts, it taps into Watson’s Personality Insights and AlchemyLanguage APIs to find your most and least positive posts and give you a positivity score. My Twitter activity got a 128 out of 200. What these numbers means exactly, I don’t know.
GPS then offers recommendations for how to live a more positive life, like learn a new instrument or visit a museum.
As part of the International Day of Positive Thinking, Chevy is giving away gas in New Orleans, Buenos Aires, and Cape Town based on positivity scores.
GPS is available in six languages including French, Spanish, and Arabic.
The posts GPS identified for me as most positive seemed to be anything with a thank you in it. A graph of most commonly used positive words GPS also felt a bit like either (a) not enough information was considered or (b) it was pseudo-science.
GPS only harnesses part of the power of the Watson’s Personality Insights AI; for example, you’re only told three of your top personality traits instead of the top five.
Deeper analysis is available when you take a look at how the AI analyzes celebrities and world leaders.
After analyzing 33,000 words from Pope Francis’ tweets, the pontiff was described as unconventional, unconcerned with tradition, and confident. With more than 15,000 words, Oprah was described as helpful, analytical, emotionally aware, and guided by both tradition and independence.
Watson can impress and inspire, and of course has real methodology and science behind it, but it’s also a marketing machine — part of the reason people criticize artificial intelligence for being more about sales and hype than a technological breakthrough.