aidsoversixty

a reader's journal & virtual public artspace for poz platinum points of view, lgbt political & cultural activism & other metaphoric narratives of the struggle for social justice

Jeremy Vanderlan and Michelle Samplin-Salgado, blog dot AIDS dot gov: Talking To Your Cell Phone

Talking To Your Cell Phone
by Jeremy Vanderlan, Technical Deputy, AIDS.gov 
Co-authored by Michelle Samplin-Salgado, New Media Strategist, AIDS.gov 

A day after Apple announced the new 4S iPhone, they lost their leader and visionary, Steve Jobs. We joined many others in commemorating the loss of a man whose work and vision have impacted the HIV and public health community with technology, access and communication. He helped all of us re-imagine what technology could do and how it could change our lives.

The new iPhone has been getting a lot of attention because it uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) which Apple refers to as “Siri”. NLP combines computer science and linguistics so spoken or written language can be used to help answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions online (like playing music or sending an email). The National Library of Medicine, working with the Lexical Systems Group, is just one of many agencies and organizations working with NLP for health. They have developed NLP tools to investigate the contributions that natural language processing techniques can make between the language of users and the language of online biomedical information resources. There are other examples from the National Cancer Institute and The National Office of the Controller, to name a few.

Using NLP, along with search history, location, and other information about your behavior, preferences, and personal information, these factors help guide results. It’s based on a complex algorithm that responds and “learns” from these interactions. The more you use it, the more it is able to  anticipate what you are using it for.

Asking Questions About HIV

With Siri, we asked about HIV. How to find an HIV testing site? Where to get a condom? For example:

AIDS.gov: Where can I get an HIV test? / Siri, I need an HIV test. / I need to be tested for AIDS.

And, we were not directed to an HIV testing site. Yet, when we asked

AIDS.gov: Siri, find me a condom.

Siri: I found 16 drug stores. 13 of them are fairly close to you.

This is a new an emerging technology and another tool to help in our response to HIV/AIDS. There’s a lot of potential for the HIV community with NLP, the provider community, and public health in general. We have many questions for applications like this and will continue to blog on this topic. We’re looking forward to seeing how NLP evolves over time. And to be honest, we’re learning ourselves. Do you think NLP could revolutionize public health search?

RELATED POSTS

  1. Future Federal Directions in Mobile Technology and Health
  2. Why Mobile for AIDS.gov?

 

 

Advertisements

Filed under: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

archives

---pages

blogroll

dictionaries & glossaries

elder links

fourth estate --- journalism, politics, storytelling & watchdoggery

HIV/AIDS specific

lgbt specific

medical cannabis

rhetoric, grammar & logic

wordpress

%d bloggers like this: