Research Tools: New Database Reveals Gender Bias in Movie Scripts
Researchers in the Natural Language Processing (NLP) group at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering created a database that analyzes the power dynamics between male and female characters in almost 800 movie scripts.
The project was funded by the National Science Foundation, Google, and Facebook.
“We were frustrated with the way women were portrayed in movies so we started looking for ways to measure and correct for bias,” Maarten Sap, one of the team members, said.
Their computer model measured narrative arcs and dialogue for male and female characters in about 700 modern screen plays on two scales: power versus submissiveness and agency versus passiveness. Through crowdsourcing, they collected input on the connotation of power and agency for about 2000 verbs.
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Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.