AAAS 2012 (the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science) will take place February 16-20 in Vancouver. Friday, February 17, 2012: Endangered and Minority Languages Crossing the Digital Divide:
Speakers of endangered languages are leveraging new technologies to sustain and revitalize their mother tongues. The panel explores new uses of new digital tools and the practices and ideologies that underlie these innovations. What new possibilities are gained through social networking, video streaming, twitter, software interfaces, smartphones, machine translation, and digital talking dictionaries? How can crowd-sourced translation and localization projects protect intellectual property while providing a technology resource? The panelists present actual and imagined uses and impacts of new digital technologies for a variety of stakeholders: speakers, educators, archivists, linguists, language activists, and technology providers. There are also benefits to science when indigenous languages assume a prominent role in digital technologies. They can provide testing grounds for new media and technological delivery, presenting a level of data complexity often not found in major global languages and thus leading to new discoveries. And they lend greater prominence to traditional knowledge, thus expanding access to the human knowledgebase.