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Societal Impacts of Language Technology: How to Work with Known Best Practices to Avoid Harm

PhD Masterclass by Emily M. Bender

In this talk I will explore the harms that can follow from language technologies, across a broad range (keyboards, spell-checkers, automatic transcription systems, machine translation, dialogue agents, and of course large language models), and talk about practices that developers and users of language technologies can use to mitigate these harms. These practices include fair treatment of research participants, dataset and model documentation, designing for transparency, working on specific use cases, and seeking input from those who will use and affected by the use of the technology.

Emily M. Bender is a Professor in the Department of Linguistics and an Adjunct Professor at the Information School and the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Information at the University of Washington. She is the Faculty Director of the Professional Master's in Computational Linguistics and the Director of the Computational Linguistics Laboratory. Her research interests include technology for endangered language documentation, computational semantics, and methodologies for supporting consideration of impacts language technology in NLP research, development, and education. Her public scholarship is centered around supporting public understanding of language technology.


Start date: 4 April 2024, 02.00 pm


ZHAW, Building SM, Mäander C, Winterthur
Theaterstrasse 15c
8401 Winterthur


ZHAW Applied Linguistics, Theaterstrasse 15c, 8400 Winterthur, Room: SM O4.01