Language is not only about the words, it is also about the people. While much of the work in computational linguistics has focused almost exclusively on words (and their relations), recent research in the emerging field of computational sociolinguistics has shown that we can effectively leverage the close interplay between language and people. In this talk, I will explore this interaction, and show (1) that we can develop cross-cultural language models to identify words that are used in significantly different ways by speakers from different cultures; and (2) that we can effectively use information about the people behind the words to build better language representations. This is joint work with Jamie Pennebaker, Aparna Garimella, Carmen Banea.
Rada Mihalcea is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan and the Director of the Michigan Artificial Intelligence Lab. Her research interests are in computational linguistics, with a focus on lexical semantics, multilingual natural language processing, and computational social sciences. She serves or has served on the editorial boards of the Journals of Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluations, Natural Language Engineering, Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, and Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics. She was a program co-chair for EMNLP 2009 and ACL 2011, and a general chair for NAACL 2015 and *SEM 2019. She currently serves as the ACL Vice-President Elect. She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award (2008) and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers awarded by President Obama (2009). In 2013, she was made an honorary citizen of her hometown of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.