Sian Gooding, was just on her way to catch her flight when the Haaretz reporter Dana Frank caught her for a brief interview. It turns out that Sian is a doctoral student in computer science from Cambridge who is returning home after conducting some research at the Technion in collaboration with Assistant Professor Yevgeni Berzak. We ceased this opportunity and asked Yevgeni to elaborate a little on their research:
This research project uses eye-tracking technology to examine the relation between eye movements in reading and text understanding.
Eye movements during reading contain rich information about the reader’s linguistic knowledge and how they process language.
In this project we examine the possibility of using eye movements data in combination with methods from NLP and machine learning in order to determine the overall difficulty level of the text, and more importantly, how difficult it is for a specific reader.
Our goal is to determine in real time whether the reader struggles to understand the text, and if so, simplify the text such that it would be appropriate for their reading level.
In the future, this research could have applications for increasing the accessibility of textual information to a wide range of populations, such as language learners and people with cognitive impairments.