VersuS, part of the ConnectiCity project, explores the real-time lives of cities using data captured from major social networks and analyzing it through natural language analysis and artificial intelligence.
Cities and citizens have gone through radical transformations. People have changed the ways in which they work, communicate, learn, express emotions, meet, consume and entertain themselves.
emotions in New York and Philadelphia
The digital layer of the city cannot be separated anymore from the physical one, as new urban rituals emerge, with people constantly and fluidly moving back and forth from one domain to the other, their emotions, feelings, desires, anxieties and visions being continuously communicated both in the physical and digital domains.
The VersuS Project is about the observation of the real-time life of cities.
digital political unrest in Rome
Cities have become ubiquitous publishing spaces in which people constantly use nomadic technological tools (such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and network-connected devices and services) to communicate, learn, understand their environment, express emotions, collaborate, organize themselves, work, express opinions.
In VersuS we focus on the concept of the concept of human-centered smart cities.
The VersuS project:
- all the real-time public information which is generated in cities on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Foursquare and Flickr is captured
- Natural Language Analysis and Artificial intelligence are used to understand the topics people are discussing, their emotional approach (sentiment analysis and emotional analysis) and, when available, their exact geographic location
- we currently support 29 languages
- network analysis is then performed to understand the human geographies/topograpies of cities: who are the hubs, the influencers, the switches, the major nodes of the human network, and the dynamics according to how information, knowledge, opinions and data spread in the city
Fear in Hong Kong
We then use all this information:
- to create novel business scenarios/models
- to turn it into novel forms of Open Data sources, to be used by citizens, organizations, businesses, policy-makers to conceive new ways to collaborate, for city governance, to suggest citizen participation, to invent new services, practices, scenarios
- to create engaging interactive experiences, across design and art, which are able to suggest citizen awareness, environmental practices, and consciousness on major social, political, ecological, anthropological issues
an augmented reality compass showing violence during a riot in Rome, as emerging from social networks
The Versus project has already collaborated with cities such as Rome, Milan, Turin, Florence, Pisa, Trieste, Cosenza, Pompei, Berlin, London, Hong Kong, Philadelphia and more, creating new businesses, policy-making (best) practices and generative, real-time art exhibits in museums and festivals.
The VersuS project started in August 2011, in occasion of the Piemonte Share Festival, where we presented an emotional map of the city of Turin (love VS Turin) and a rea-time analysis of the October 15th riot in the city of Rome (rome VS riots).
VersuS is a project which interweaves many contributions from the arts, sciences, humanities and technologies.