British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

What we Learned from 5 Million Books

Synopsis
The research in this 14-minute video was made possible by Google’s book digitization efforts. Researchers Jean-Baptiste Michel and Erez Lieberman Aiden show in a light-hearted way that reading isn’t the only thing these digitized books can be used for. They demonstrate the use of Google Labs’ Ngram Viewer, a tool that lets you search for words and ideas in a database of 5 million books from across centuries. The statistical data that emerges can give cultural insights into aspects such as censorship and changes in language use over time.
Language
English
Country
United States
Year of release
2011
Year of production
2011
Subjects
Social Studies; Technology
Keywords
books; censorship; cultural evolution; digital information; language development; statistical analysis

Online availability

URI
http://www.ted.com/talks/what_we_learned_from_5_million_books.html
Price
free
Delivery
Streamed/Download

Credits

Contributor
Erez Lieberman Aiden; Jean-Baptiste Michel

Distributor

Name

TED

Web
http://www.ted.com/ External site opens in new window
Phone
+ 1 212 346 9333
Fax
+ 1 212 227 6397
Address
250 Hudson Street
Suite 1002
New York, NY
10013
USA

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