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Friday 24 July 2020 11:00 - 12:00

The aim of this webinar is to provide an overview of research undertaken within the Data Science Working Party on applying machine learning methods for sentiment analysis and opinion mining of UK Twitter data relating to COVID-19.

In this session, Asif John (Chair Data Science WP) and presenters: Melanie Zhang and John Ng will explain the Twitter data extraction, data enrichment and pre-processing techniques, using a standard Natural Language Processing (NLP) pipeline, which aims to predict positive or negative sentiment of Tweets using a suite of supervised machine learning (ML) methods. Finally, the optimal ML model will be applied to a large size of historical UK Tweets to automatically classify their sentiments. In addition to analysis of overall sentiment trend over time, it is illuminative to study different sentiment trends associated with a number of key topics, such as ‘lockdown’, ‘work’, ‘health’, ‘NHS’, ‘insurance’ and ‘government’ - this is understood to be one of the first types of such research on Twitter COVID-19 keyword sentiment to date with this size of dataset.

Event organiser

Contact Niki Park for more information.

020 7632 2152

Asif has about 20 years of experience in the Insurance and Reinsurance sector. He has twenty years’ experience of performing c-level leadership roles in his domain.  A qualified actuary, he is the CEO of AMJ Global Solutions Group and is on a mission to disrupt the Insurance market using data science, machine learning and AI.

Asif is Chair of IFoA Data Science WP which has in excess of 50 members across six work streams and participates in IFoA data science steering committee, a strategic committee to progress Data Science

Melanie Zhang

Melanie is Head of Property Innovation at AXIS Capital, having previously worked in actuarial pricing, reserving and business planning roles in the London insurance market since 2011. Melanie has recently completed her Master’s degree at UCL in Computational Statistics and Machine Learning. She is a member of the IFoA Data Science Member Interest Group Managing Committee, Data science MIG Education Workstream Lead and the IFoA Data Science Certificate Committee.


John Ng
John is Senior Data Scientist at Reinsurance Group of America, where he provides predictive modelling solutions and pricing research for internal and external clients on mortality, morbidity, biometrics and digital distribution. In his previous roles he developed end-to-end Automated Machine Learning (AutoML) platform for a range of product lines and deployed advanced pricing optimisation frameworks. John is a Fellow of Institute of Actuaries, an experienced pharmacist, IFoA Data Science Research Workstream Chair, Data Science Managing Committee member and Deputy Chair of IFoA Health and Care Research sub-committee.




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