Will Computer Science Go Beyond The English Language Into Arabic?

Will Computer Science Go Beyond The English Language Into Arabic?

A conceptual digital art project links computing programming to the Arabic language with a surprising point of view.

Plus Aziz
  • 29 may 2014

During his time at Eyebeam Art+Technology Center, Ramsey Nasser developed a conceptual art project addressing the difficulty and impossibility of coding in a non-Latin alphabet system. To convey his message, he turned to his native tongue, Arabic. The end result is a program that is an digital artwork that subtly reveals how non-English speakers need to adapt to the foundations that have been laid out for programmers in the past 60 years. Ramsey titled his work “قلب” or Qalb, which means “heart”. Watch the video below to watch Nasser Ramsey demonstrate the output of his creative endeavor.

Nasser seems to be concerned about the role of human culture in coding. By presenting a code that is written entirely with Arabic letters, he exposes the biases underlying programming and computer science at large. This puts the spotlight on the pedagogical biases that govern how code is taught in academic and educational settings without trying to argue for an alternative system.

Software engineering is fostered in the United States. If we’re going to push for coding literacy, if we’re going to push to teach code around the world, then we have to be aware of what their cultural biases are and what it means for someone that doesn’t share that background.

Driving this point home, he develops his point of view in an interview with Hyperstage, an robust Arabic site covering technology. Ramsey acknowledges previous attempts to create a coding language in Arabic and their shortcomings. What distinguishes قلب his work from previous attempts is the fact that it is a conceptual art project, not intended for everyday use. In this interview, Ramsey asserts that what brings all such programming projects together is their love for text and language. His project embraces traditional programming algorithms from the history of computer science and treats them with the same amount of respect and cultural sensitivity that Arabs treat their own poetry, calligraphy, and typefaces. This conveys a unique underlying link between the traditional practices of computer scientists and regular users of Arabic.

Ramsey Nasser

Sources: Animal, Eyebeam Art+Technology Center, Hyperstage


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Mick Ebeling

Development, Health, Community

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

No search results found.