Dan Jurafsky- Extracting Social Meaning from Language: The Computational Linguistics of Food and the Spread of Innovation

Automatically extracting social meaning from language is one of the most exciting challenges in natural language understanding. In this talk I’ll summarize a number of recent results using the tools of natural language processing to help extract and understand social meaning from texts of different sorts. We’ll explore the relationship between language, economics and social psychology in the automatic processing of the language of restaurant menus and reviews. And I’ll show how natural language processing can help model different aspects of the spread of innovation through communities: how interdisciplinarity plays a crucial role in the spread of scientific innovation, and how the spread of linguistic innovation is intricately tied up with people's lifecycle in online communities.