An Amazing Look at How Children Learn Language


I just stumbled upon this TED talk by Deb Roy, a cognitive scientist at the MIT media lab. He did something amazing, something I would never consider doing – he set up video cameras in every room of his house to record his family’s waking moments. This is what he refers to as the “ultimate memory machine”, recording 90,000 hours of home video in the first years of his son’s life. All of those hours yielded a remarkable amount of data, from which Roy and his research team learned about a baby’s acquisition of language. The data visualizations they created are stunning.

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1 thought on “An Amazing Look at How Children Learn Language

  1. This is fascinating, especially the graphing and connecting he shows using broadcast media and conversation about it.

    We talk about watching the backchannel at conferences and such, but it’s getting close to possible to watch the backchannel in real time for just about anything that happens.

    I wonder what a graph of the public conversation in Egypt over the last 3 years might look like?

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