If you understand what you have read so far in this post, then you would definitely know the difference between the sentences ‘GDP rose in 2015’ and ‘GDP rose consistently from 2010 to 2015.’ So would a Natural Language Processing (NLP) programme. Some NLP programmes might even one-up us mere mortals by giving the ‘dependency parsing’, ‘parts of speech tags’, ‘named entities’ and other sentences attributes that only learned and esteemed linguistic practitioners like Noam Chomsky, George Orwell and Donald Trump would understand.
Well, NLP programmes (or at least the one we’re currently using) might be able to parse a claim like ‘GDP growth averaged 7.3% under the previous Labour administration’ (warning: fake news; please don’t take this statistic for truth) and flood you with a deluge of sentence attributes.
All good thing has come to an end, as my journey at MEA reaches its destination day by day I feel more and more emotional like I am already missing the place. So much things happened in the past four weeks, apart from demonstrating my research results and learning from my colleague I also managed to show them how bad an ‘Asian flush’ can get (I will never drink with an empty stomach again). Anyway, let me tell you what happened in my last few days at MEA.
The last week was quite rough to be honest, apart from doing the planned charity research I was also assigned to do some document classification and research work.
Week 2 is now over and I’m happy to say I’ve achieved more than I thought in the second week. After all the research I had completed in the first week it was time to organise some ideas and start building up the presentations. This was harder than I first thought.
When first started compiling different parts of my research into a presentation I realised there was a bit more to it than just adding information. The trickiest part I’ve been finding to achieve is conveying the devastating effects that neuro-disability has on people’s lives whilst maintaining a light-hearted, fun presentation for the children.
It’s Wednesday, time 23:21. I ‘m sitting in the kitchen, reflecting on the past three days. That’s it so far – only three days at Anthony Nolan*. How is it possible that I feel so different than on a Sunday evening?
Are you thinking of doing an internship in a charity? Let me tell you how you’d feel. At the beginning, you are extremely excited. You plan your project, it seems to be the most groundbreaking thing in the world and you cannot wait to pursue it. Then Sunday comes, and you are supposed to start work on Monday morning.
Week 1 completed, that’s 25% of my internship. Sacrewell farm is now ~0.5% closer to the public unveiling of their collection.
The William Scott Abott Trust is an agricultural education charity with a visitor’s centre near Peterborough. This idyllic site, with its 18th century water mill, charismatic staff and farmyard animals, is my office for 4 weeks. What a hardship for me to bare! Leisurely walking round the 550 acre organic fields and visiting the alpaca on my lunch break.
When I’m not enjoying the beautiful setting I am focused on cataloguing their collection of farm equipment. Ranging from a 7m long hay baler machine to a 20cm spanner.
London Nightline are a charity providing a confidential listening, emotional support and practical information service to London’s students. London Nightline began in 1971 where it was modelled around the Samaritan’s with the key difference that all volunteers are students and the service is tailored to students needs. Nightline was set up as a response to a spate of student suicides at Imperial. Originally based in South Kensington and known as West London Nightline the charity then spread to address the needs of students across the city.
You can visit their website here: http://nightline.org.uk/
The aim of my time at Nightline is to interview volunteers and service users about their experiences.
My first impression when waking into Nesta’s main office was: “Am I in Google?” From the colourful shapes and designs spread across the walls to the couches by the window overlooking the OXO Tower, it felt like I had stepped into the hippest Silicon Valley start up by a recent Stanford graduate in the world. And this feeling was only reaffirmed throughout the week.
Nesta’s work, put simply, is innovation. They aim to take ground breaking ideas and make them a reality, covering pretty much all topics imaginable, like healthcare, democracy and policy-making. My personal focus for the next 4 weeks will be a mixture of investigating personal data economy and digital democracy, which is the coolest project I’ve ever done.
Sentence structure is central to human language. We understand the difference between the sentences: “Sam is happy because he won the Lottery.” and “Won the Lottery, Sam is happy.” The former follows the rules of the English language; the latter is more likely to be spoken by Yoda in Star Wars.
We are able to understand such simple sentences as well as more complicated ones. However, how do we ensure that a computer (or SkyNet) is able to do so?
Well, this is the job of Natural Language Processing, or NLP for short. My job at Full Fact involves improving their automated factchecking process, and this entails using NLP to process whatever claims that politicians, journalists etc.
I am now 2 weeks into my time at Team Up! I am into the full swing of tube commutes and office work. But for the more interesting part of my experience: I have almost completed the first section of my project, in which I am creating a new set of mathematics assessment materials. I will soon be moving onto the second half of the project, which will be based on updating and amending the current lesson plans. For this period, I will have more free range and control over how things develop, mostly because my supervisor is away on holiday!
Despite being a 1st year Biology student, the amount of knowledge I have regarding neuroscience and neuro-disability is basic to say the most, much like the majority of the younger generation since the wonders of the brain and its workings are not a majorly touched on in the school curriculum.
The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability is an awe inspiring charity that provides specialist care for patients with neuro-disability and aims not only to rehabilitate patients but to improve their quality of life as a whole. For my project I will be working with the RHN with the aim of producing a toolbox of presentations that the hospital can use when visiting schools to raise awareness for the neuro-disability and the work of the charity, some of which will also be presented by myself.