Social media is a big part of our every day at Lexalytics. We spend a lot of time not only studying it but also engaging with it. Because of that, we decided it was time to have a bit more fun on YouTube. Since language is our first love (not to mention our stock in trade) we figured we’d make it the center stage of our new vlog that just debuted on Mother’s Day. The goal of this channel is to discuss the etymology, intent and emotions behind a word so as to better understand it. If anything, it illustrates the inherent difficulty of natural language processing and machine learning.
Our first episode celebrates perhaps the only universally recognized and loved word: Mama. It’s a bandied about in every culture without a second thought, but in reality it’s been ringing throughout history and has even helped shape the naming of our biological class. Its childish etymology only adds to its intrigue. Better understanding of words like Mama not only help us enrich our software, they also stand to enrich us. For as primitive as language might seem—just a series of grunts and sounds—we find that it’s the ballad of all human existence. So much can be inferred from the histories and usage of tongues around the world. Language is, after all, the cornerstone of what we do at Lexalytics, and to say we’re fascinated by it is an understatement! We’ve found that, whether you’re a human or a machine, understanding language better is understanding humanity better. And, on that note, enjoy the show!