Natural language processing is a subfield of linguistics, computer science and artificial intelligence that aims to teach computers to understand and generate human language. Sustainable, equitable, socially responsible natural language processing machines can serve humans from diverse backgrounds and enable discoveries across a wide range of fields.
As Canada Research Chair in Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, Dr. Muhammad Abdul-Mageed is studying computational “sociopragmatics”—awareness of the social conditions that govern language. He and his research team are trying to develop sociopragmatically intelligent models that have knowledge of time, space and social meaning, such as emotion, language variety, empathy and style. For example, they hope to develop a model that can detect a particular dialect and writing style and translate it into a different dialect or style. Ultimately, their work will inform our understanding of human behaviour, learning and history, and support social justice and sustainability.