SXSW Interactive, “Emoji & Texting: Is Human Language Extinct?”

March 8, 2014

Presented at a SXSW Interactive panel on language, technology, and creating a “visual vernacular.” (Mar. 8, 2014)

52,000: The number of texts sent every second around the world. The proliferation of texting has exploded, starting with basic SMS in the late ‘90s, evolving to advanced iMessages and Emoji (picture characters) used to inject emotional cues and nuance into conversations.
Humans have gone from ancient cave paintings to complex language development, and now we’re returning to pictorial symbols again. Texting has been bemoaned as the downfall of the written word, yet it’s innovating its own grammar and conventions. What does this signal about the evolution of the human language? How will emerging technology change the way we communicate – with each other and with brands – in the future?
Join Sam Huston of JumpTank and linguist Ben Zimmer as they examine the use of symbols in language, how the human language is evolving alongside technology and its impact on culture, from brand interactions to expressions of personal narratives.

(Panel page)

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