Ken Benoit: Massive non-expert coding of political texts

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The stand-out presentation at last month’s Digital Scholarship Day of Ideas at the University of Edinburgh was by Professor Ken Benoit of LSE. Professor Benoit describes how crowdsourcing is an effective and efficient alternative to employing experts to code political manifestos. By breaking the text into sentences then using multiple crowdsourced coders he shows that equivalent results can be achieved, but at very low expense. The reliability of individual coders cab be monitored through test questions, so the approach builds in its own quality assurance. During the talk he has the Ukip manifesto coded in real time. It does not require an overheated imagination to imagine other applications where large quantities of text data need to be analysed.
The video of his presentation has just been published by the University of Edinburgh.[Note: the embed does not seem to stream correctly in Chrome]

Link to an alternative MP4 version of Prof Ken Benoit’s talk (QuickTime)

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