Department of Media & Communication research seminar: 'From words to numbers and back'

Series Name Department of Media & Communication
Speaker Professor Roberto Franzosi and Professor Nello Cristianini
Type Lectures & Talks
Starts at Jun 03, 2015 04:00 PM
Ends at Jun 03, 2015 06:00 PM
Venue Bankfield House Lecture Theatre, 132 New Walk, Leicester
Open To University staff and students
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact Dr Giuseppe Veltri g.a.veltri@le.ac.uk, or Dr Stefania Vicari sv32@le.ac.uk.

Colleagues are invited to the research seminar From words to numbers and back hosted by the Department of Media & Communication. We are hosting Prof Roberto Franzosi and Prof Nello Cristianini to speak about their work on quantitative text analysis on Wednesday 3 June 2015. The seminar will run from 4.00-6.00pm in the Bankfield House Lecture Theatre on 132 New Walk, Leicester.

For any questions, please contact Dr Giuseppe Veltri g.a.veltri@le.ac.uk, or Dr Stefania Vicari sv32@le.ac.uk.

Abstracts

OF STORIES AND BEAUTIFUL THINGS: DIGITAL SCHOLARSHIP, METHOD, AND THE NATURE OF EVIDENCE, Roberto Franzosi, Emory University, USA

The talk illustrates a quantitative social science approach to narrative developed by the author, Quantitative Narrative Analysis (QNA). QNA relies on computer-assisted story grammars to analyze narrative, where a story grammar is the simple Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) structure. In narrative, Subjects are typically social actors – individuals, groups, organizations – Verbs are actions, and Objects are both social actors and physical and abstract objects. Using data collected by the author from newspapers on the rise of Italian fascism (1919–1922) (300,000 SVOs) and Georgia lynchings (1875–1930) (7,000 SVOs), the talk will show how narrative data lend themselves to cutting-edge tools of data visualization and analysis as network graphs and maps in Google Earth and other GIS software. These representations appear to give prima facie support to Kandinsky’s view of art and beauty as form, color, and movement. The talk will also show how QNA data provide the basis for fascinating digital humanities projects that overcome the chasm of C.P. Snow’s “two cultures” of art and science.

AUTOMATIC DISCOVERY OF PATTERNS IN MEDIA CONTENT, Nello Cristianini, University of Bristol, UK

What can we learn about the world (and the media system) by analyzing millions of news articles or tweets? Media content analysis has historically been the domain of the social sciences, but recently we are witnessing a strong trend towards the automation of many tasks, paving the way for a new 'computational' approach to social science and the humanities. In this talk, I will survey the results obtained over the past 5 years at the Intelligent Systems Laboratory of Bristol, in the area of automating the analysis of news media content. By combining techniques from machine translation, pattern recognition, statistical learning, information retrieval, I will analyze patterns connected to the past US Presidential Elections, to UK public opinion, and to EU cultural biases.

Speakers’ Bio:

Roberto Franzosi is Professor of Sociology and Linguistics at Emory University. His main substantive interest has been in social protest, with projects on Italian strikes and two current projects on the rise of Italian fascism and on lynchings in Georgia (1875-1930). Franzosi has had a long-standing methodological interest in issues of language and measurement of meaning in texts (narrative texts, in particular) with several journal articles published and four books.

Nello Cristianini is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Bristol, and a recipient of both a ERC Advanced Grant, and of a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award. He has wide research interests in the areas of data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and applications to computational social sciences, digital humanities, news content analysis.