Christian Alis

University College London


Christian Alis

Thursday 12th June 2014, 2:50pm


TWITTER | @ianalis

TITLE | Dynamics of Conversational Utterances

ABSTRACT | Conversations transfer short bits of information and the speech in each turn is called an utterance. Using conversations in works of fiction and in the online social medium Twitter, we found that the utterance length of conversations is getting shorter with time but adapts more strongly to the constraints of the communication medium. Regional variations of utterance lengths in the US suggest that the lengths are not directly influenced by location but by a demographic variable. Similar results were also found for the UK and Italy, which contradicts the popular notion that there is a North-South divide with respect to talkativeness in these countries. Although not definitive, our use of novel sources of conversations has given us a tantalising look into the dynamics of human conversations.

BIOGRAPHY | Christian Alis is a Research Associate in Data Science at UCL working on the EPSRC project, “Big Data, Innovations and New Business Models”. He received his PhD in Physics for his work on the dynamics of conversational utterances. His discovery that tweets are getting shorter has been covered by online media including MIT Tech Review and Time Magazine.