Resurrecting Hamilton: How We Brought Alexander Hamilton Back To Life With Machine Learning

It was was a bright and early morning on the Hudson. Large cliffs overlooked the winding river. On the westward bank stood two well dressed men. It was July, 1804, and the New Jersey air was warm and humid. The men turned, and faced one another. Two shots rang out, but only one man fell. That man was Alexander Hamilton, he was 47. Hamilton led a life that had seen him play a pivotal role in the formation of the United States of America, and he had lost his life in a duel with the Vice President of the United States, Aaron Burr.

Hamilton, shortly before his death

Hamilton may have died that day, but the effects of his vision for the United States can still be felt. A federal banking system, a strong military, and a special relationship with Britain highlight just a few of his accomplishments. Hamilton may have been killed in that fateful duel with Burr, but what if he was still around? What would he say? What would he think? What topics would interest him?

Here at Tanjo we use machine learning algorithms to simulate customer personas. In a nutshell, that means we help organizations find out who their customers are, and then imprint that character onto a bot algorithm.

That character then goes out onto the internet, and examines ~10,000 pieces of content a day, and determines what content fits its interest profile. In this way, we can model what a group of customers is thinking about, what topics are becoming more relevant to them, and which topics are becoming less relevant.

Customers are one thing, but here at Tanjo, we wondered if we could bring back the dead-specifically some of the founding fathers, and find out what they would think about America’s political, economic and social situation.

Hamilton may have been killed in a duel on the Hudson, but his papers and written works live on. We fed in Hamilton’s collected writings, and created an interest graph that represent’s Hamilton’s preferences. From that interest graph, we created a bot that scours the web, and determines what Hamilton would be thinking about, and what content he would like.

The result can be seen below:

You can heck out the Hamilton bot here: https://tanjo.ai/boards/2274705/activities?filter=reads

As you can see, Hamilton has so far read 78 pieces of content, that he deemed interesting. Recently, he has been thinking more about the current Administration (Flynn’s resignation), California (the Oroville Dam), and perhaps most obviously, Donald Trump.

Now that we have an approximation of Hamilton’s interests and thoughts, we can do all sorts of analysis. How does Hamilton feel about these articles. Why are they interesting to him? Hamilton may be dead, but a digital imprint of his self can live on. Feel free to visit Hamilton here at https://tanjo.ai/boards/2274705/activities?filter=reads and contact me at will@tanjo.ai with any questions about our bot persona of Hamilton.