Quantification of cultural identity through artificial intelligence: a case study on the Waorani Amazonian ethnicity

  • Aldrin Espín-León
  • Antonio Jimeno-Morenilla
  • María Luisa Pertegal-FelicesEmail author
  • Jorge Azorín-López


The first step toward a Smart Village is that the community itself can benefit from the novel techniques that are applied. Some communities are far from being able to use the benefits that these technologies usually offer; however, they can benefit from the techniques that have led to the development of smart cities. This is the case of the indigenous people belonging to communities in the Amazon: They have seen their identity drastically eroded in recent decades as a result of the process of Western acculturation. In this context, the use of artificial intelligence techniques may contribute to the detection and quantification of cultural identity loss by identifying the most and least affected identity components of this process. This research work presents a quantitative method, which evaluates several variables of the cultural identity of an Ecuadorian Amazonian indigenous community: the Waorani. The proposed method automatically classifies the individuals and provides a subspace of it able to identify the weights of the subcomponents of this instrument in regard to its contribution to the Waorani identity. The systematic application of the instrument together with the artificial intelligence-based approach can provide decision makers with valuable information about which aspects of their identity are most sensitive to change and thus help design development policies that minimally interfere with their ethnic identity.


Cultural identity measurement Preservation of ethnic identity Amazonian Waorani community Artificial intelligence 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Sociology and Social WorkCentral University of EcuadorQuitoEcuador
  2. 2.Department of Computer TechnologyUniversity of AlicanteAlicanteSpain
  3. 3.Developmental and Educational Psychology DepartmentUniversity of AlicanteAlicanteSpain

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