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The Resource Uncharted : big data as a lens on human culture, Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel

Uncharted : big data as a lens on human culture, Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel

Label
Uncharted : big data as a lens on human culture
Title
Uncharted
Title remainder
big data as a lens on human culture
Statement of responsibility
Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
  • " "One of the most exciting developments from the world of ideas in decades, presented with panache by two frighteningly brilliant, endearingly unpretentious, and endlessly creative young scientists." - Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature Our society has gone from writing snippets of information by hand to generating a vast flood of 1s and 0s that record almost every aspect of our lives: who we know, what we do, where we go, what we buy, and who we love. This year, the world will generate 5 zettabytes of data. (That's a five with twenty-one zeros after it.) Big data is revolutionizing the sciences, transforming the humanities, and renegotiating the boundary between industry and the ivory tower. What is emerging is a new way of understanding our world, our past, and possibly, our future. In Uncharted, Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel tell the story of how they tapped into this sea of information to create a new kind of telescope: a tool that, instead of uncovering the motions of distant stars, charts trends in human history across the centuries. By teaming up with Google, they were able to analyse the text of millions of books. The result was a new field of research and a scientific tool, the Google Ngram Viewer, so groundbreaking that its public release made the front page of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe, and so addictive that Mother Jones called it "the greatest timewaster in the history of the internet." Using this scope, Aiden and Michel-and millions of users worldwide-are beginning to see answers to a dizzying array of once intractable questions. How quickly does technology spread? Do we talk less about God today? When did people start "having sex" instead of "making love"? At what age do the most famous people become famous? How fast does grammar change? Which writers had their works most effectively censored by the Nazis? When did the spelling "donut" start replacing the venerable "doughnut"? Can we predict the future of human history? Who is better known-Bill Clinton or the rutabaga? All over the world, new scopes are popping up, using big data to quantify the human experience at the grandest scales possible. Yet dangers lurk in this ocean of 1s and 0s-threats to privacy and the spectre of ubiquitous government surveillance. Aiden and Michel take readers on a voyage through these uncharted waters"--
  • "Breaking open Big Data, two Harvard scientists reveal a ground-breaking way of looking at history and culture"--
Tone
Review
  • Aiden and Michel gained widespread media attention when they first demonstrated their innovative use of the Google Books project, which made available more than 30 million books in digitized form—about one in every four books published. This "big data" is at the core of this fascinating glimpse into the pair's decade-long work and how "n the coming decades, personal, digital, and historical records are going to totally transform the way we think about ourselves and the world around us." Using a new scientific tool specially designed to be used with Google Books, the Ngram viewer, the pair were able to count words for "track certain kinds of cultural change over time" and to make "careful measurements that probe important aspects of our history, language, and culture." The result is like using a new kind of telescope that allows one to see more closely—and accurately—the evolution of words and how this reflects cultural change. A long appendix of charts provides a range of fascinating Ngram-based insights as well—such as the fact that the word "data" over the past hundred years has become more commonly used than the word "God." (Dec.) --Staff (Reviewed March 31, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 13, p)
  • Harvard Society Fellow Aiden and Harvard University scientist Michel, recently named one of Forbes's "30 under 30," here address a hot topic: mining big data. Wondering what all those data on all those servers worldwide could tell us, they joined with Google to build the Ngram Viewer, a web-based tool that can chart words throughout the Google Books archive. The one million-plus queries run through the viewer since 2010 reveal startling cultural patterns on everything from how languages change over time to how art has been censored. Not just for geeks. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed July 1, 2013) (Library Journal, vol 138, issue 12, p56)
  • The story of a remarkable scientific tool that uses big data sets to examine cultural trends in human history. In this debut, Aiden (Genetics/Baylor Coll. of Medicine) and Michel, founder of data science company Quantified Labs, describe research with big data that led to their teaming up with Google to develop the Ngram Viewer, an online tool that searches more than 30 million digitized books to reveal how words and phrases have been used over time. Launched in 2010 as part of Google Books, the viewer's search of ngrams (letter combinations) serves the needs of lexicographers and historians while providing endless diversion for others. Calling Google's digitized data "an unprecedented précis of humanity's cultural record," the authors show how such data can be made to reveal important changes over time, from when the early expression "the United States are" gave way to "the United States is" to how censorship can cause the sudden disappearance of particular words and phrases, such as "Tiananmen Square." Having met at Harvard, the authors began seven years ago to experiment with their new scope on historical trends to learn how English grammar changes, how people get famous, and how societies learn and forget. While recounting the copyright, privacy and other issues they faced in developing their tool, they offer fascinating insights into how dictionaries work, the half-lives of irregular verbs and the most famous people of the last two centuries (Hitler heads the list). In an appendix, some two dozen charts graph the relative frequency of use of certain words, such as "London" and "New York," since 1800. (New York began its ascendancy in 1911.) The authors also consider the moral issues raised by the prospect of a future in which personal, digital and historical records reveal more and more about human experience. A fun, revealing exploration of a new way to view the past.(Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2013)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10231880
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Aiden, Erez
Dewey number
302.231
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Michel, Jean-Baptiste
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Big data
  • Science
  • Culture
  • Internet
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
big data as a lens on human culture
Label
Uncharted : big data as a lens on human culture, Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Content category
text
Control code
000052189616
Extent
280 pages 20 cm.
Isbn
9781594487453
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Label
Uncharted : big data as a lens on human culture, Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Content category
text
Control code
000052189616
Extent
280 pages 20 cm.
Isbn
9781594487453
Isbn Type
(hardback)

Library Locations

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      -33.938111 151.237977
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