Sendai JALT:

How Computers Learn Language

Date: Sunday, July 28th, 2019 Time: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Speaker: Robert Swier (Kindai University)

Machine learning and artificial intelligence have already begun to affect society in profound ways, and the pace of these changes will only accelerate as technology improves. And while all fields of education will be affected by these technologies, the field of language education will experience some of the greatest effects due to the fact that many of these advancements focus on computer processing of natural language. This talk will present a broad and friendly introduction to the underlying techniques that allow computers to produce intelligent behavior. Topics will include the early philosophical questions of AI (e.g., the Turing test and whether computers can really be intelligent) as well as the evolution of AI techniques from the early days of hand-coded systems to the statistical approaches and deep learning systems of today. We will pay particular attention to how these techniques have been applied to natural language in order to produce everything from spell checkers and part-of-speech taggers to the voice assistants and machine translation systems of today. We will end with an open discussion on the implications these technologies have for language teaching.

Organization: Sendai Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Sendai JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1,000 yen (500 yen for students)

Venue: Asahigaoka Shimin Center, Meeting room #2 (map)

Location: Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan


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