Metaphors and Meaning

Will the next 007 be schooled in analytics? Perhaps. The U.S. government is reportedly making a nine-figure investment to better understand how language shapes worldviews with the goal of improving its ability to glean intelligence from non-English speakers. It’s known as IARPA: Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.

In an article on The Atlantic‘s web site, Alexis Madrigal describes a “metaphor project” which it is hoped will allow intelligence agencies to understand the implicit meaning in what is written and said in a wide variety of languages. This is an interesting exercise to explore how we say what we mean even when we don’t realize it — or perhaps not,  if we don’t think through the metaphors we choose. Language matters — which should make literate people everywhere smile.

Read my full post at the International Institute for Analytics blog.

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