Fall 2018 Section Conference

Imagine the Future: Developing Artificial Intelligence and Planning for AI Uses, Misuses, and Effects

Saturday, November 3 9:30AM – 2PM

Schoolcraft Community College in Livonia, MI

Registration* is Open: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/177214

*Early Bird Registration Ends Sunday, October 7!

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The Ups and Downs of Word Embeddings

Rada Mihalcea and Laura Wendlandt

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University Of Michigan

Words are the central units of the languages we all speak. In a similar way, word representations are the core units of algorithms that we build to automatically process language. These representations form the foundation for many applications of natural language processing, ranging from question answering systems, to chat bots, search engines, or systems for machine translation. In this talk, we will take a deep dive into word embeddings — a popular way of representing words with the help of neural networks trained on very large collections of texts. In particular, we will address two aspects of word embeddings. First, we will take a close look at their stability, and show that even relatively high frequency words are often unstable. We will provide empirical evidence for how various factors contribute to the stability of word embeddings, and analyze the effects of stability on downstream tasks. Second, we will explore the relation between words and people and show how we can develop cross-cultural word representations to identify words with cultural influence – i.e., words that are used in significantly different ways by speakers from different cultures. Further, we will also show how we can effectively use information about the speakers of a word (i.e., their gender, culture) to build better word representations.

This is joint work with Carmen Banea, Aparna Garimella, and Jonathan K. Kummerfeld.

About the Speakers


Rada Mihalcea is a Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering department at the University of Michigan. Her research interests are in computational linguistics, with a focus on lexical semantics, multilingual natural language processing, and computational social sciences. She serves or has served on the editorial boards of the Journals of Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluations, Natural Language Engineering, Research in Language in Computation, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, and  Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics. She was a program co-chair for the Conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics (2011) and the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (2009), and a general chair for the Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (2015). She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award (2008) and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers awarded by President Obama (2009). In 2013, she was made an honorary citizen of her hometown of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.



Laura Wendlandt is a PhD candidate in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, working with Dr. Rada Mihalcea. Her research interests include natural language processing and machine learning. She is currently serving as co-chair for the Student Research Workshop at the 2019 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, as well as co-chair for a2-dlearn, Ann Arbor’s annual deep learning symposium.





***More Information and Speaker Lineup will Follow Soon***

 With increases in computing power that far exceed even most recent predictions, artificial intelligence quickly moved from the stuff of science fiction and into every aspect of our lives. To discuss exciting developments and various thorny issues surrounding AI, we chose it to be the topic of this year’s IEEE SEM Fall Conference that will be held at Schoolcraft Community College in Livonia, MI. We expect to look at what prompted acceleration in AI applications in both traditional and service industries, status of these developments, ethical and privacy issues surrounding AI, and much more.


Everyone interested in speaking, presenting, or otherwise sharing their work in AI space, please,  submit short bio and abstract using this Google form: https://goo.gl/mXBzUH. While IEEE SEM is not able to offer compensation for the speaking engagement, we invite our speakers to attend the entire event at no charge, including any meals and refreshments on offer. With any questions regarding speaking, please, contact planning team member Larry Baczkowski at larrybazzz@ieee.org. Other questions regarding the conference may be directed to Dave Werden at dwerden@ieee.org.


All poster proposal should be submitted using this Google form: https://goo.gl/3J6x3y.  While IEEE SEM is not able to offer compensation for posters, we invite our poster authors to attend the entire event at no charge, including any meals and refreshments on offer. Please contact Mel Chi at ieeesemsac@umich.edu or Dave Werden at dwerden@ieee.org with any poster questions.