big data human speechome project

How words arrive

Deb Roy, an associate professor at MIT's Media Lab, is finding out how a child learns to speak in the most personal way -- by observing his newborn son. Roy's Human Speechome Project chronicled his son's first three years at home, using 11 fisheye videocameras, 14 microphones, and thousands of feet of cable. This cutaway image is a composite taken by the cameras mounted in the ceiling of each room in Roy's house. Though the system shut down each night while the baby slept, almost every other one of his sounds and movements were recorded, generating 200 gigabits of data each day. Every 40 days the files were hand-delivered to MIT -- 250,000 hours' worth, still being analyzed today.

- Last updated September 10 2012 06:07 PM ET
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