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Deb Roy:
The birth of a word

TED2011 · 19:52 · Filmed Mar 2011
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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.

Cognitive scientist
Deb Roy studies how children learn language, and designs machines that learn to communicate in human-like ways. On sabbatical from MIT Media Lab, he's working with the AI company Bluefin Labs. Full bio
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