LTI and CMU researchers work to automatically make requests more polite
by Byron Spice | Tuesday, July 7, 2020

In a tense time when a pandemic rages, politicians wrangle for votes and protesters demand racial justice, a little politeness and courtesy go a long way. Now researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an automated method for making communications more polite.

Specifically, the method takes nonpolite directives or requests — those that use either impolite or neutral language — and restructures them or adds words to make them more well-mannered. "Send me the data," for instance, might become "Could you please send me the data?"

The researchers will present... Read More

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Dear Members of the LTI Community,

Like many of you, I was horrified by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor,... Read More

38 Papers from LTI-affiliated Authors Accepted
by Bryan Burtner | Thursday, April 9, 2020

The 2020 Annual Conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2020) features a bevy of accepted papers from LTI faculty and students – 38 in all. In addition to the large contingent of LTI-authored papers, a number of LTI students and faculty members are involved in workshops affiliated with the ACL conference, either as members of organizing committees, or as invited speakers.

The ACL conference, now in its 58th year, bills itself as "the premier conference of the field of computational linguistics, covering... Read More

Pioneering Professor Left Indelible Mark on the World of Computer Science
by Byron Spice | Friday, February 28, 2020

Jaime Carbonell foresaw a world where people could freely communicate with each other, no matter what language they spoke. He knew that making this dream a reality would require automation, so he spent his career building machines that could understand human language.

He knew full well that earlier attempts at machine translation had largely come to naught. Nevertheless, as a young computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University in 1985, Carbonell persuaded his superiors to let him start a Center for Machine Translation. For the next 35 years... Read More

Hate Speech Countered by Detecting, Highlighting "Help Speech"
by Byron Spice | Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Complete the following sentence: Rohingya refugees should go to­­­ —

A. Pakistan.
B. Bangladesh.
C. Hell.

These aren't good choices, but all are sentiments that have been expressed repeatedly on social media. The Rohingyas, who began fleeing Myanamar in 2017 to avoid ethnic cleansing, are ill-equipped to defend themselves from these online attacks, but innovations from Carnegie Mellon University's ... Read More

LTI computer model aims to turn film scripts into animations
by Byron Spice | Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a computer model that can translate text describing physical movements directly into simple computer-generated animations, a first step toward someday generating movies directly from scripts.

Scientists have made tremendous leaps in getting computers to understand natural language, as well as in generating a series of physical poses to create realistic animations. These capabilities might as well exist in separate worlds, however, because the link between natural language and physical poses has... Read More

LTI Team Helps Computers Concoct Interesting Endings
by Byron Spice | Thursday, August 1, 2019

Nothing disappoints quite like a good story with a lousy finish. So researchers at Carnegie Mellon University who work in the young field of automated storytelling don't think they're getting ahead of themselves by devising better endings.

The problem is that most algorithms for generating... Read More

The CMU Language Technologies Institute is Hiring Faculty
Thursday, August 1, 2019

We're currently seeking applicants for both tenure-track and teaching-track faculty positions. Please see the links below for more information on available positions, as well as instructions for applying:

Tenure Track Position

Teaching Track Position

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by Bryan Burtner | Friday, April 12, 2019

Language Technologies Institute Assistant Professor Yulia Tsvetkov is a 2019 recipient of the Okawa Foundation Research Grant. The Research Grant, awarded annually since 2010 to researchers in the fields of information and telecommunications, is one of the most prestigious in computer science. Tsvetkov is one of eight recipients from US-based institutions.

The awarding organization, the Okawa Foundation for Information and Telecommunications, was established in 1986 under the mission "to promote and seek the development in the field of ICT through such means as awards and research... Read More

CMU Researchers Help Interpreters Find “Le Mot Juste”
by Scott Fybush | Friday, February 15, 2019

Think about all the challenges that go into interpretation:  a human sitting in a booth, listening to live speech in one language and somehow smoothly repeating it in another language, sometimes for hours at a time. Then imagine our interpreter is working at a specialized conference where the speaker is using arcane terminology, forcing them to come up with rarely used words and phrases at a moment’s notice.

Add a computer into the mix, and our interpreter’s job gets easier, right? Not so fast, said Graham Neubig, an assistant professor in the Language Technologies... Read More

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