Workshop: Manvir Singh – Building and analyzing large, cross-cultural databases to understand global patterns
For over a century, fieldworkers have recorded the rich cultural products of the world’s societies, including people’s songs, stories, and visual art. New computational methods and much easier access to these collections allow researchers to study universality and diversity in cultural behaviors on a scale that was hitherto impossible. In this workshop, we will discuss building and analyzing large, cross-cultural databases. I will focus on two projects: the Natural History of Song, a database of the song structure and behavior, and Anansi, a database of myth, folktales, and legends. I will discuss how we built these projects, some techniques for analyzing them, and some of the main issues that arise, ranging from guaranteeing quality data to managing collaborations and ownership.