Uber's sentiment-tracking AI

Rob Key

Rob Key

Posted at warc: Uber, the ride-hailing giant, used artificial intelligence to understand the public’s sentiment toward the brand across the mass of unstructured social data created about it every day, in a way that allowed it to make leadership decisions in a matter of hours, compared to what before would have been days.

Consumer trust is declining across the board – in institutions, in government, in brands – for all sorts of reasons. “Multiple statistics show that brands can be made or broken within minutes, within seconds, in social environments,” Rob Key [pictured], CEO at Converseon, an AI-flavoured social sentiment tracker, told the I-COM Data Creativity Awards (Malaga, May 2019).

“Into this environment comes a company like Uber.” (For the full treatment, read WARC’s exclusive report: How Uber built a real-time sentiment tracker).

Given its current ubiquity, it’s sometimes hard to remember Uber didn’t actually exist six years ago. The pace of the company’s advance has been vertiginous. It’s now in 173 countries and 785 metropolitan areas. Every day it realises millions of rides.

It is also the most famous ride-hailing app on the planet, a poster-child of what is euphemistically known as the sharing economy. In the last year, it has been gearing up towards its IPO, a massive moment for any company, but especially for one as scrutinised as Uber. It needed to know what was going on. More...