Machine Language Acquisition, and Why Speech Technology Needs More Linguists

Roksolana Mykhaylyk, Harvard University, Amazon
October 6, E-0105 14.15-16.00
Topic: Machine Language Acquisition, and Why Speech Technology Needs More Linguists.

Abstract:
It is hard to imagine our life before the advent of speech technology.  We now take for granted getting directions from the GPS voice in our cars, searching for information by talking to our smartphones, or communicating with personal smart home assistants. This presentation will focus on the role of linguistic and language knowledge in Natural Language Understanding, Automated Speech Recognition, and Text-to-Speech product development. As an example, I will demonstrate how Google Translate and Amazon Echo are able to “speak” and explain in the most basic terms how machines “learn” various languages. I will also suggest some ways through which linguists can enter the IT job market.

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