Newsportal - Ruhr-Universität Bochum
The downside of digitalisation
If digitalisation continues at the current rate, my research is unlikely to be affected. After all, almost all contemporary texts have long been available digitally – or when did you last write something by hand? In linguistics, computers have been used to analyse and process language data for over 50 years. You are reading this article digitally, as well – the entire world wide web is composed of digital text.
At the same time, the practical importance of digital linguistics has increased significantly due to digitalisation. One example is its application to negative communication practices such as manipulation and misinformation, hate speech, plagiarism and so on. Digital forensic linguistics develops methods based on artificial intelligence, in order to uncover linguistic characteristics of, for example, disinformation and abuse in the plethora of digital texts that are created every day.
Tatjana Scheffler studied computational linguistics in Saarbrücken, Shanghai and Beijing, and received her PhD in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania, USA. After working at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence and the University of Potsdam, she was appointed to what is probably the world’s first professorship for Digital Forensic Linguistics at RUB on 1 September 2020. Her research focuses on the analysis of conversations in social media.
Convenience, flexibility, flood of data, risk: junior professors from various disciplines assess where digitization is heading.
This is the first article of a series. Further articles will be published weekly.
26 November 2020