Abstract: Humans make sense of language in context, bringing to bear their own understanding of the world including their model of their interlocutor's understanding of the world. In this talk, I will explore various potential risks that arise when we as humans bring this sense-making capacity to interactions with artificial interlocutors. That is, I will ask what happens in conversations where one party has no (or extremely limited) access to meaning and all of the interpretative work rests with the other, and briefly explore what this entails for the design of language technology.
Bio: Emily M. Bender is a Professor of Linguistics and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Computer Science and the Information School at the University of Washington, where she has been on the faculty since 2003. Her research interests include multilingual grammar engineering, computational semantics, and the societal impacts of language technology. In 2022 she was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).