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natural language processing


natural language processing

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  • Does thought or language come first?

  • Language is both an important communication tool and a proxy to the human mind

  • It should not surprise that natural language processing is one of the major subfields of artificial intelligence

  • Its goal is to make machines master human language to perform intelligent linguistic tasks

Among all human intelligent abilities, language and thought are undoubtedly the highest ones. Their Dependencies are so tight that a long tradition of research has investigated which of these two abilities is prior to the other. Independently from the answer to this question, it is irrefutable that language covers a fundamental communicative role for human beings (evolutionarily speaking, it was so important that it developed at the cost of penalizing other functions, including breathing), often functioning also like a proxy to their mind.

It should not, thus, surprise that Natural Language Processing is one of the major subfields of Artificial Intelligence. This discipline aims at making machines master human language to perform tasks such as speech recognition and synthesis, text comprehension and generation, and so on.

In the last five years, my colleagues and i worked at numerous topics in natural language processing, including lexical distributional semantics (i.e. representing word meaning, word similarity and word relation), event knowledge representation (i.e. representing knowledge about events and their participants), sentiment analysis of non-literal tweets (i.e. deciding whether ironic or metaphorical tweets are positive or negative), grammar checkers (i.e. correcting orthographic, grammatical and stylistic writing mistakes), style transfer (i.e. turning texts from a style to another, such as from formal to informal) and information extraction (i.e. identifying relevant information in documents, reports and so on). Future research includes investigating topics such as question answering and machine translation.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
— John 1:1, Bible


regina barzilay

delta electronic professor, eecs, mit

chu ren huang

chu-ren huang

corpus linguistics professor, hk polytechnic university



postdoc, hk polytechnic university

philippe blache

professor, aix-marseille university

stefan evert

professor, friedrich-alexander-universitat

jiang guo

postdoc, csail, mit

zhijing jin

undergraduate student, hku

alessandro lenci

computational linguistics professor, unipi

qin lu

computer science professor, hk polytechnic university

vered shwartz

phd student, bar-ilan university

sabine schulte im walde

professor, ims, university of stuttgart

chris biemann

professor for language technology, university of hamburg

yujie qian

phd candidate, csail, mit