TED talks are amazing places to watch, hear, learn, and discover some of the most amazing things. From Deb Roy's presentation on the Birth of a word it is tricky to force oneself to get over the technological tricks they had to invent to perform this research (video correcting 10+ fisheye video feeds into a near 3D representation of Deb Roys home that can allow us to follow him, his wife, their son and the nanny through their house for a few years) to discover the patterns in that lead to the successful emergence of word use.
Had to watch this a couple of times before I could let the point of it, sink past my utter amazement as to HOW they parsed it, to what they found. The 120 Terabytes of data, the linking of the various feeds into a single cohesive (and virtually 3D) time space environment. And get where it was going.
The space time tracking of movement in the video to find the feeds where they could locate his sons specific word use. the ability to get audio transcripts from disparate video sources into a coherent "stream" of communication. This turns into different methods of tracing the communication threads throughout our society and our social structures.
Not sure what it all means yet, but to quote Deb Roy and son. "wow"