Antonio Jiménez Mavillard

I’m a researcher, programmer, and data scientist. I was born in Seville (Spain). I did my Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering and my Master’s in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Seville, and then moved to London (Canada) for my PhD in Hispanic Studies at Western University. Since then, I’ve worked at the Cultureplex Lab, a multidisciplinary facility at Western that does research on digital humanities with a strong emphasis on cultural analytics and digital innovation. I understand digital humanities as a discipline where computational methods are applied to solve humanities problems. Throughout this vision, I became a human-centered kind of researcher.

My research is centered on connecting technology and culture. My main research interests lie in literature, psychology and human behavior, news and social media, storytelling communities, indigenous peoples, creativity, and gastronomic culture. I apply methods from the digital humanities and machine learning to cultural data in order to gain insight into a wide diversity of cultural phenomena. As an illustration, my doctoral thesis was a proposal of the best way to build collaboratively an online gastronomic encyclopedia. I identified that a trustworthy community and a rewarding-for-contribution system are essential to encourage users to create original and reliable recipes on such a digital platform. In this context, I investigated anthropological concepts like community, trust, reputation, or creativity in several case studies: a recipe magazine’s community, a question-and-answer forum, a food-centered social network, and a restaurant’s catalogue. To do so, I applied a variety of computational approaches, such as natural language processing, network analysis, and machine learning. Some of my most interesting findings were that online communities need influencers to propel user contribution and that home cooking is reluctant to innovation, unlike high cuisine.

I currently work on a project that is at the crossroads between writing and sociology. I’m studying millennials’ needs and motivations, according to their fictional self-expressions on an online storytelling platform. This is a truly interdisciplinary project that combines theoretical frameworks from psychology, new literary production forms on emerging creative writing platforms, and machine learning.

I speak Spanish and English, and I like to travel and show the results of my work at international conferences around the world.

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