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Big Emotion

A billion-pound industry is emerging to convert our feelings into data. New Generation Thinker Laurence Scott looks at the way social media is changing our behaviour.

A billion-pound industry is emerging to convert our feelings into data. Biosensors, motion trackers and facial-recognition software capture and quantify our emotions, which are then crunched by ‘Sentiment Analysts.’ But while our feelings become big business, they are also getting us into personal trouble. Voicing an opinion online brings backlash from the social-media mob, as if our misworded asides and careless thoughts carry the weight of a tyrant’s edict. New Generation Thinker Laurence Scott asks will our feelings start to change in this world of magnified emotion?

New Generation Thinkers is a scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to select 10 academics each year who can turn their research into radio.
Laurence Scott's books include The Four-Dimensional Human and Picnic Comma Lightning: In Search of a New Reality (published in July by Heinemann).

Producer: Debbie Kilbride

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15 minutes

Last on

Fri 17 Aug 2018 22:45

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