Ssshh! I'm watching this: conversational behaviors around real-time video
Yahoo! Research
April 08, 2010
Science and Engineering N102

People like video. In our homes, at the movies, or cradled in our hands, flickering, glowing screens have the power to draw us in, or at the very least divert our attention. The things we watch spawn conversations. These conversations extend to engage even those who never saw the original program; people learn about recorded events in print, on the web, or from friends.

In this talk, David Ayman Shamma will discuss real-world applications designed to facilitate watching videos while chatting with friends. First, he will discuss a system for synchronized video sharing over Instant Messenger. Next, Ayman will examine how people use status updates, like on Twitter, while they watch political events on TV. In particular, he will demonstrate methods for segmenting and annotating the media via conversational activity for the purpose of watching the video after the event has already passed. This work is an analysis of the practice of chatting during live events: it details the core metrics that can be used to evaluate and analyze microblogging activity as it relates to watching TV. Finally, he will offer suggestions on how this model of segmentation and node identification could apply towards any live, real-time arbitrary event at a large scale.

Bio: David Ayman Shamma is a research scientist in the Internet Experiences group at Yahoo! Research. His research interests include digital expression, creativity frameworks, interaction design and media sharing as well as community-centric multimedia. His research focuses on understanding creativity and conversation as well as building new creative models and sharing tools. Additionally, Ayman creates media art installations which have been reviewed by The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, and Chicago Magazine and exhibited internationally, including Second City Chicago, SIGGRAPH ETECH, Chicago Improv Festival, Wired NextFest and NextMusic.

Ayman holds a B.S./M.S. from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition at The University of West Florida and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Intelligent Information Laboratory at Northwestern University. He has taught courses at the Medill School of Journalism as well as in Computer Science and Studio Art departments. Prior to receiving his Ph.D., he was a visiting research scientist for the Center for Mars Exploration at NASA Ames Research Center.

Lunch will be served starting at noon.

Please email Kristina Striegnitz ( if you have any questions concerning the seminar series or if you would like to receive the seminar announcements by email.