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In the first part of this joint inaugural lecture, Raquel Fernández will look at how language and cognitive sciences can be used for artificial intelligence systems and what they can teach us about our own language skills. In the second part, Floris Roelofsen will discuss the social value that linguistics can offer and how new methods and applications are being developed from a people-oriented perspective.

Event details of The possibilities of linguistics
13 June 2023
16:30 -00:00
Raquel Fernández (photo: Kirsten van Santen)
Raquel Fernández (photo: Kirsten van Santen)

Language Use in Humans and Machines

Humans’ ability to understand and produce language is one of our most impressive skills. We use language to exchange information, talk about the world, coordinate our actions, and establish rapport, among myriad of other things. Computational Linguistics makes use of machine learning methods to study human language and build computer systems that are more human-like. Fernandez will address the question of how theories from linguistics and cognitive science can inform artificial intelligence systems, and also discuss what we can learn from the abilities and weaknesses of such systems about our own linguistic skills.

Prof. R. Fernández, professor of Computational Linguistics and Dialogue Systems: Language Use in Humans and Machines.

Floris Roelofsen (photo: Kirsten van Santen)
Floris Roelofsen (photo: Kirsten van Santen)

Language Sciences for Social Good

The Language Sciences have taken enormous strides forward over the past 20 years, leading to many practical applications with tremendous impact. Machine translation, speech recognition, and chatbots have radically transformed people’s everyday lives. However, while most applications developed to date have been driven by economic gain, the language sciences have a tremendous potential to yield societal gain as well, a potential that remains largely untapped, Roelofsen will argue. Within the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, Roelofsen and his colleagues pursue novel methods and applications from a human-centric perspective: methods that add transparency and are not restricted to mainstream languages, and applications for a more inclusive and safe society.

Prof. F. Roelofsen, professor of Formal Semantics with a special emphasis on societal impact: Language Sciences for Social Good.

The joint inaugural lecture is in English. The lecture of Fernández starts at 4:30 p.m.; that of Roelofsen at 5 p.m.