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.

Why you should listen

Deb Roy directs the Cognitive Machines group at the MIT Media Lab, where he studies how children learn language, and designs machines that learn to communicate in human-like ways. To enable this work, he has pioneered new data-driven methods for analyzing and modeling human linguistic and social behavior. He has authored numerous scientific papers on artificial intelligence, cognitive modeling, human-machine interaction, data mining, and information visualization.

Deb Roy was the co-founder and serves as CEO of Bluefin Labs, a venture-backed technology company. Built upon deep machine learning principles developed in his research over the past 15 years, Bluefin has created a technology platform that analyzes social media commentary to measure real-time audience response to TV ads and shows.

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Roy adds some relevant papers:

Deb Roy. (2009). New Horizons in the Study of Child Language Acquisition. Proceedings of Interspeech 2009. Brighton, England.

Brandon C. Roy, Michael C. Frank and Deb Roy. (2009). Exploring word learning in a high-density longitudinal corpus. Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Plenty more papers on our research including technology and methodology can be found here, together with other research from my lab at MIT:

The work that I mentioned on relationships between television content and the social graph is being done at Bluefin Labs ( Details of this work have not been published. The social structures we are finding (and that I highlighted in my TED talk) are indeed new. The social media communication channels that are leading to their formation did not even exist a few years ago, and Bluefin's technology platform for discovering these kinds of structures is the first of its kind. We'll certainly have more to say about all this as we continue to dig into this fascinating new kind of data, and as new social structures continue to evolve!

Deb Roy’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Deb Roy


TED Weekends: Big data gets personal

February 9, 2013

At TED2011, Deb Roy shared his talk, “The birth of a word,” describing when he and his wife, Rupal Patel, brought home their baby boy for the first time. The pair sought to shoot a different kind of home video: in every room of their house, a camera recorded eight to ten hours of footage […]

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