Postdoctoral researcher in the Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics (FATE) group at Microsoft Research Montréal
Language and Justice: Understanding Harms in NLP Systems and Practices
Abstract: Natural language processing (NLP) systems are now ubiquitous. Yet the benefits of these language technologies do not accrue evenly to all users, and they can be harmful; NLP systems reproduce stereotypes, prevent speakers of "non-standard" language varieties from participating fully in public discourse, and reinscribe historical patterns of linguistic stigmatization and discrimination. In this talk, I will provide an overview of the relationships between language and social injustice as well as recent work identifying biases in NLP systems, paying attention to how grounding ourselves in the relationships between language and injustice can help us understand what system behaviors or NLP research practices are harmful, who is harmed, and how. I will conclude by discussing some future directions for researchers and practitioners working to build more just NLP systems.
Faculty host: Dr. Neal Patwari
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