UTCS Colloquium/AI-Regina Barzilay/MIT CSAIL: "Embracing Language Diversity: Unsupervised Multilingual Learning?" ACES 2.402, Friday, November 20, 2009, 11:00 a.m.

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Nov 20, 2009 11:00am - 12:30pm

There is a sign-up schedule for this talk at http://www.cs.utex


Type of Tal

k: UTCS Colloquium/AI

Speaker/Affiliation: Regina Barzilay/MIT CSAIL

Date/Time: Friday, November 20, 2009/ 11:00 a.m.

Location: ACES


Host: Ray Mooney

Talk Title: "Embracing Language Diversity:
Unsupervised Multilingual Learning?"

Talk Abstract:
For centuries,
the deep connection between human languages has fascinated scholars, and

driven many important discoveries in linguistics and anthropology. In this

talk, I will show that this connection can empower unsupervised methods fo

r language analysis. The key insight is that joint learning from several la

nguages reduces uncertainty about the linguistic structure of each individu

al language.

I will present multilingual generative unsupervised model

s for morphological segmentation, part-of-speech tagging, and parsing. In
all of these instances we model the multilingual data as arising through a
combination of language-independent and language-specific probabilistic pr

ocesses. This feature allows the model to identify and learn from recurring
cross-lingual patterns to improve prediction accuracy in each language. I

will also discuss ongoing work on unsupervised decoding of ancient Ugaritic
tablets using data from related Semitic languages.

This is joint work
with Benjamin Snyder, Tahira Naseem and Jacob Eisenstein.