Connected Nation - Pitch: Beewatch and Blogging Birds - Advaith Siddhartan, University of Aberdeen

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Can digital technologies bring people closer to nature? Two nature conservation projects: the reintroduction of red kites into the Black Isle by the RSPB, and a citizen science biological recording project BeeWatch have explored using Natural Language Generation technology to communicate environmental data and engage members of the public directly.

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Advaith Siddhartan, University of Aberdeen

Hello so I'm Advaith Siddharthan, I’m the senior lecturer in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen. We started off by asking ourselves; wouldn’t it be great if people could directly engage with ecological data instead of having to read what the press writes from the press releases which universities put out from papers that scientists right around two years down the line? And then we asked ourselves can digital technologies help people connect with nature, and focusing on how this might happen we indeed zoomed in to telling stories from ecological data. So we have two projects; Blogging Birds and Beewatch, both citizen science projects which directly engage members of the public around ecological data through language. Come talk to us.