At the intersection of current affairs and computational linguistics, Language Log’s Philip Resnik has written a thought-provoking piece about how events in Egypt are fueling a shift in computational linguistics. He calls it the “social media revolution”, and main idea is that whereas current computation techniques are good at dealing with large, clean data sets (such as newspaper text, which comes in complete sentences, is edited, etc.), future techniques will need to deal with large *messy* data sets such as Twitter posts. In fact, the shift is well underway, and he discusses some of currently relevant applications. It’s a great window into the cutting edge in natural language processing.
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