[Text appears on screen: Can an algorithm sense our emotions?]
[Music plays and image changes to show Stephen]
Stephen: My name is Stephen and I’m a research scientist. My area of science is called computational linguistics and in computational linguistics what we like to do is we try to put together technology to analyse language that we might hear, but the kind of language that I look at is written language, particularly I look at analysing social media text, so the kind of language you see on Twitter and blogs.
[Image changes to show Stephen with colleagues and then changes to show Stephen seated at a desk and working on a computer]
It’s not just about the minutiae of people talking about what they had for lunch; people are sharing really interesting things.
[Image changes to show Stephen using his mobile phone and then changes to show Stephen standing and watching different algorithms pass by on a screen]
And if you take all that information and you pull it all together, that public data, then what seems to bubble up is the way the community as a whole thinks about a particular topic.
[Image changes to show Stephen selecting a book from a bookcase and then changes back to show Stephen seated and working at a computer]
For example, we worked with the State Library of New South Wales, and in fact this was a really interesting application, because our tools, we had designed them to work for media and communication staff, but the State Library realised that we could use these tools to collect ephemeral content about events like the recent New South Wales State Election.
[Image changes to show Stephen selecting a book from a bookcase and then shows him flicking through the book]
For example, we can see on Twitter what election issues really resonated with that community and that’s a really interesting piece of information for the historians in the future.
[Image changes to show Stephen participating in a game of capoeira]
One of the things I like to do outside of my research life is to play capoeira. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial arts that involves, not just, the physical element but also music and community.
[Image changes to show Stephen walking and talking with another male and then moves back to Stephen practicing capoeira]
But what I find similar between my research, music and capoeira is that there is an element of creating and saying something, so it’s playing music, or creating a sequence of moves that is related to what other people are doing, and it’s the sense of improvisation and communication that I think is an underlying thread in these three areas.
[Image changes to show a head shot of Stephen]
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