Keynote speakers

Keynote: Susan Goldin-Meadow

Title: The resilience of language

Abstract: TBD


Keynote: Afra Alishahi

Title:  Emerging representations of form and meaning in models of grounded language


Humans learn to understand speech from weak and noisy supervision: they manage to extract structure and meaning from speech by simply being exposed to utterances situated and grounded in their daily sensory experience. Emulating this remarkable skill has been the goal of numerous studies; however researchers have often used severely simplified settings where either the language input or the extralinguistic sensory input, or both, are small scale and symbolically represented.

We simulate this process in visually grounded models of language understanding which projects utterances and images to a joint semantic space. We use variations of recurrent neural networks to model the temporal nature of spoken language, and examine how form and meaning-based linguistic knowledge emerge from the input signal.  We carry out an in-depth analysis of the representations used by different components of the trained model and show that encoding of semantic aspects tends to become richer as we go up the hierarchy of layers, whereas encoding of form-related aspects of the language input tends to initially increase and then plateau or decrease.

Keynote: Phil Blunsom

Title: Structure and grounding in language

Abstract: TBD

Keynote: Cynthia Fisher

Title: TBD

Abstract: TBD

Keynote: Chen Yu

Title: Statistical word learning: linking words to world

Abstract: TBD

Keynote: Michael Frank

Title:Variability and Consistency in Early Language Learning: The Wordbank Project


Every typically developing child learns to talk, but children vary tremendously in how and when they do so. What predicts this variability? And which aspects of early language learning are consistent across the world’s languages and cultures? We use data from tens of thousands of children learning dozens of different languages to create a data-driven picture of universals and variation in early language learning.

Online user: 1