CDT in NLP Distinguished Lecture from Professor Emily M. Bender

CDT in NLP Distinguished Lecture from Professor Emily M. Bender

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About this event

The School of Informatics' UKRI CDT in Natural Language Processing, in conjunction with UKRI CDT in Robotics & Autonomous Systems at Heriot-Watt University and UoE, invite you to attend a Distinguished Lecture being delivered by Professor Emily M. Bender on 25th August 2021.

Note: the event is only open to students/staff/industry partners of the Universities of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt.


Humans make sense of language in context, bringing to bear their own understanding of the world including their model of their interlocutor's understanding of the world. In this talk, Professor Bender will explore various potential risks that arise when we, as humans, bring this sense-making capacity to interactions with artificial interlocutors. Professor Bender will ask what happens in conversations where one party has no (or extremely limited) access to meaning and all of the interpretative work rests with the other; and briefly explore what this entails for the design of language technology.


Emily M. Bender is a linguist who works on multilingual grammar engineering, technology for endangered language documentation, computational semantics, and methodologies for supporting consideration of impacts language technology in NLP research, development and education. She is the Howard and Frances Nostrand Endowed Professor of Linguistics at the University of Washington. Her work includes the LinGO Grammar Matrix, an open-source starter kit for the development of broad-coverage precision HPSG grammars; data statements for natural language processing, a set of practices for documenting essential information about the characteristics of datasets; and two books which make key linguistic principles accessible to NLP practitioners: Linguistic Fundamentals for Natural Language Processing: 100 Essentials from Morphology and Syntax (2013) and Linguistic Fundamentals for Natural Language Processing II: 100 Essentials from Semantics and Pragmatics (2019, with Alex Lascarides).

Please note:

  • the Lecture will take place on-line via Zoom and you are required to register using your university email address
  • the session link will be emailed to registrants nearer the time...followed separately by the password
  • the session will be recorded through to start of the Q&A session

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