Over 60% of the world population and 20% of the US speak more than one language. Bilingual speakers are known for fluidly switching between languages. Yet, we are building computer systems from desktops, to phones, to voice assistants that force bilingual people to use one language at a time. This false dilemma to bilingualism does a disservice to bilingual users. At a time when information and communications technology could help to build bridges across language barriers, we are purposely failing to close that gap. Through numerous examples, I will show how a monolingual computer provides services that underserve bilingual users. This state of the affairs has serious implications for collaboration and coexistence of an ever growing bilingual population.
This presentation is based on my TEDx UNCCharlotte talk recorded August 21, 2020. The full TEDx talk is available here (18 minutes):
A condensed version as included in TEDxSHORTS Podcast, available here (6 minute):
Dr. Manuel A. Pérez-Quiñones is Professor of Software and Information Systems in the College of Computing and Informatics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research interests include educational/cultural/diversity issues in computing, personal information management, and human-computer interaction. He holds a DSc from The George Washington University and a BA & MS from Ball State University. He has published over 100 refereed articles and co-authored several book chapters. He is an NSF CAREER Awardee and has worked at Virginia Tech, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Naval Research Lab, and at the US Naval Academy (Visiting Professor). He is currently on educational leave working at the Center for Inclusive Computing at Northeastern. He is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
He has held several administrative positions in academia, including: Associate Dean of the College of Computing and Informatics at UNCC, Associate Chair of the CS Department at VT, and Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the Office for Graduate Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives at VT.
He served as chair of several conferences (ACM Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference and the SIGCSE Technical Symposium). He serves on the SIGCSE Board, Steering Committee for the SIGCSE Technical Symposium, Advisory Board for CMD-IT, Steering Committee for BPCNet.org, and a Member of the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine at the National Academies.