Birth of a Word

Thanks to the Science Goddess for sharing this powerful TED video- The Birth of a Word. Easily one of the best talks I have seen this year.

MIT researcher Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language — so he wired up his house with videocameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son’s life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch “gaaaa” slowly turn into “water.” Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn. (Recorded at TED2011, March 2011, in Long Beach, California. Duration: 19:52)

I have to admit that when listening to the 40 second audio clip of Roy’s son transitioning over time from “gaga” to “water” made me pretty emotional.  What an elegant, simple, and powerful use of audio.

This video really makes me think about:

1. effective analysis of data- some amazing tools and ideas are exposed here

2. the importance of story in a good presentation

PS- make sure and watch the last minute… wow!


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