Could Amazon reviews keep you from getting sick? Researchers analyze text to predict food recalls

A group from the UW’s Data Science for Social Good program developed the recall predictor this summer. From left to right: Lead Data Scientist Valentina Staneva, Data Science Fellow Michael Munsell, Data Science Fellow Cynthia Vint, Data Science Fellow Kara Woo, Data Science Fellow Kiren Verma and Project Lead Elaine Nsoesie. Photo: eScience Institute. For the past year, Amazon has been cracking down on sellers and third parties offering money for positive reviews. But for one team of data scientists, negative reviews on Amazon are much more interesting than positive ones. Researchers from the University of Washington’s Data Science for Social Good program have set out to harness Amazon reviews to predict food product recalls. The team has developed a machine learning platform that can mine the text of Amazon reviews to make predictions…


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