Media Technology MSc

Lecture ‘Computation x Creativity and the Origins of Language’ by Tessa Verhoef

On Thursday May 18, Dr. Tessa Verhoef of the University of California at San Diego will present a lecture for LIACS staff and Media Technology MSc students, entitled

"Computation x Creativity and the Origins of Language"

Language is a unique and defining behavior of the human species. How it evolved is still not well understood, mostly due to the absence of tangible evidence. Simulations of language evolution with both computer agents and humans allow us to re-create and study the underlying processes. Previous work has shown that language-like signals emerge spontaneously when people are asked to communicate through a medium that is linguistically novel to them. When laboratory languages are transmitted from person to person, features of language structure spontaneously emerge.

I will discuss various studies I have completed in this domain, in which creative use of technology enabled me to address previously unanswered questions. This includes the analysis of patterns in emerging artificial “whistled” languages, as well as the use of Microsoft Kinect to measure changes in gesture in interactive communication game experiments. Effects of conventionalization that had typically been described only qualitatively can now be simulated and quantified in the lab. In addition, to obtain more quantitative approaches in the processing of natural sign language video data, I will also present a new project on automatic captioning of American Sign Language videos.

Who, when, where?

This lecture is for LIACS staff and Media Technology MSc students only
Thursday May 18, 15:30 - 16:00h
Snellius building, room 413

18 May 2017