At some point in 2010 the balance tipped over: the majority of the world’s online information is now non-English unstructured data. This talk will explore how space and direction are expressed differently in some of the 5,000 languages in the connected world; how this can influence people’s perception of space (English-speakers included); and the implications for location-based technology and services. Linguistic diversity is highly concentrated with our greatest assets, including ecological diversity and mineral wealth, but also with our greatest threats, including sudden onset crises and epidemics. I will draw on examples from work in these four areas.
Rob is an expert in applying big data analytics to human communications. He is the CEO of Idibon which uses machine-learning and distributed human workforces to help organizations reinvent the way that they manage communications and social media at scale. From search startups to UN agencies, Rob has worked in many culturally diverse environments, in places as varied as Sierra Leone, Haiti and the Amazon to London, Sydney and San Francisco. His bicycle has taken him more than 20,000 kilometers across 20 countries, mostly through the mountains. He has a PhD in Computational Linguistics from Stanford University.
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