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19.09.2016

What are you actually saying?  Conversation analysts will be zooming in at New Scientist Live 2016

What are you actually saying?  Conversation analysts will be zooming in at New Scientist Live 2016

Do you realise what you are saying when you talk during a conversation?

Visitors will have their interactions analysed as they happen through a new format called the ‘Conversational Rollercoaster’, a concept developed by QMUL and Loughborough University. 

While visitors join in spontaneous discussion hosted by the pop-up talk-show ‘Talkaoke’, the analysts will be hard at work recording, studying and presenting research findings about conversations as they talk.  Usually conversation analysts can take months or even years to complete their research,  but the new idea is designed to speed up this process.

Saul Albert, main organiser from EECS’ Cognitive Science group said: "It’s like a mix between a live reality talk-show and football commentary, where you have all this spontaneous action in the conversation, then immediate expert analysis - except hopefully with fewer sports clichés.”

Michael Weinkove, talk show host and creator of ‘Talkaoke’ explained: "Talk shows are something everyone understands, so people naturally know how to sit down and interact at our ‘Talkaoke’ pop-up talk show. What they don’t necessarily realise is how conversation itself is this incredibly creative and powerful process, and I’m really excited to see what the scientists can reveal about it in real-time"

Liz Stokoe, Professor of Social Interaction at Loughborough University, added: “The idea is to reveal the amazing ways people use all the time to manage the unpredictability of their everyday interactions - so they can join in and talk, then step off the ‘conversational rollercoaster’ and see a snapshot of the amazingly intricate thing they just did effortlessly - without even thinking about it - in a new light."

Liz Stokoe will also be giving a talk at the event and investigating why studying talk scientifically is crucial to understanding how we use it as a technology within day to day life.

The Conversational Rollercoaster will be at New Scientist Live at the Excel Centre from 22-25 September. Liz’s talk will take place at the Technology Stage on Sunday 25 September at 10:30am.  

More Information

The ‘Conversational Rollercoaster’ is a collaboration between EECS@QMUL’s Cognitive Science group and Lougborough University’s Department of Social Sciences,  supported by language and interaction specialists from universities around the UK including Keele University, Roehampton University and the University of York.

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