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How much are words worth? PhD student uses novel approach to analyse the value of words

  • Date29 January 2018

Pip Thornton, a PhD student in Geopolitics and Cybersecurity at Royal Holloway, University of London, uses Google AdWords to analyse poetry. The Project, called {poem}.py, is based on running poems through Google's keyword planner to find out what it thinks each word is worth, and then she prints them out in the form of a receipt.

"I came up with the idea of feeding poetry through AdWords as a way of explaining my work to a more technical audience. The result was a 'critique of linguistic capitalism’ which has now evolved into a full-blown artistic intervention" she explains.

Pip's PhD is examining Language in the Age of Algorithmic Reproduction. It is concerned with the political, economic, and linguistic consequences of the commodification of language by Google through its search and advertising platforms.

Her AdWords project is currently on show at the Open Data Institute in London as part of its new exhibition, and her work has been featured in Wired UK

Royal Holloway hosts one of only two UK Cyber Security Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT). The Information Security Group (ISG) won the award for the Best Cyber-Security Education Programme at SC Awards Europe 2017. The award category includes all cyber security education programmes throughout the UK and Europe, and is based on the quality of instruction, programmes and how well these prepare students for the marketplace.

Learn more about the challenging postgraduate opportunities in Information Security offered at Royal Holloway.

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