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'Twitter-Like' Technology Could Make Cities Safer

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Researchers at the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council have developed Voice Your View (vYv), technology that enables people to provide feedback about their environment, such as how safe they feel. People can use vYv to track their comments, see who agrees or disagrees with them, and view other issues reported in their neighborhood. "Think of it like a socially conscious Twitter, or an anytime, anywhere reporting mechanism," says Lancaster University professor Jon Whittle.

Users can offer their comments through software installed on mobile phones or through vYv-enabled public terminals. The system then processes the comments to create an instant, location-based "wiki-display" of public opinion.

Voice Your View uses natural language processing artificial intelligence technology to filter, structure, and classify users' comments and convert them into meaningful data. "There could be statistically safe areas where people feel unsafe, and vYv can provide the police service with insight into why this may be and where an extra police presence would be helpful," Whittle says.

From Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council
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