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Smartphone app predicts mood of incoming messages

Computer scientists at the University of Portsmouth have created a mobile phone app that sorts good messages from bad messages.

Lorraine Chambers, a Master's student at the University of Portsmouth, has created the app which automatically colour-codes messages so people know before reading them if they are likely to make them feel good or bad.

The app works by automatically colour-coding incoming messages as green for positive, red for negative and blue for neutral so a user can see before opening any message whether it is likely to be worrying or encouraging.

The development, for Android phones, aims to prevent people being surprised by an angry or hostile message from Twitter, Facebook or text. It would also allow smartphone users to prepare for bad news and allocate time to receive it.

Mohamed Gaber, senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth's School of Computing, said: "We are increasingly sending and receiving information via messages on mobile phones.

"The rate of growth in this area has never been witnessed - everything from Twitter streams and Facebook messages to direct text messages are coming straight at us all the time on our handheld devices.

"This information has an immense power - whether we are reading a worrying social media news story or a warning email from our manager, messages can upset mood and increase stress level, just as good news and encouraging emails can cheer you up.

"The ultimate objective of this application is to make the user aware of the negative contents they receive so they are able to manage their stress in the best possible way.

"For example, if most of what is received from social media websites by a user on a particular day was negative, it is important that the user attempts to take an action in order to not get stressed, especially if this may affect the individual's performance at work and/or their behaviour at home."

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