I’ve recently become a TED addict. The idea of being in that atmosphere, full of intelligent, creative, socially-conscious and, lets face it, nerdy individuals, just tugs at my heartstrings. Not being in any position to attend, I’m living vicariously through the TED talks.
The Birth of a Word – Deb Roy
Roy placed cameras all around his home, filming eight to ten hours a day for three years. He and his MIT team analyzed the incredible and overwhelming amounts of data to make graphs and charts of his son’s language acquisition. It is fascinating data, but after a twenty minute speech, I only gleaned one conclusion. He does postulate that acquisition of individual words is correlated to physical contexts and placement in the environment (“water” said most in the kitchen, “bye-bye” said most by the door, for example).
He and his team also made comparisons to the tracing of words in online social networking contexts. They showed visual representations of the connections between words and news, and how people find and redirect their information. It is interesting to see what words trigger the most action, but again, he suggests no applications for his data.
I’m curious to see what develops of his work in the future.