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The Association for Computational Linguistics

A treasure trove for more information on the topic of computational linguistics or natural-language processing

When I started to become interested in natural-language processing (NLP) I was curious where I could look to find more information about the field. Then, after writing about NLP for about a month I came across an article in MIT Technology Review, and the author linked to a lot of articles from aclweb.org. This led me to the Association for Compuational Linguistics (ACL).

There is a list with an anthology of papers:

The anthology provides an overview of ACL events and non-ACL events.

They have also linked to an MIT Press Journal on the topic of computational linguistics.

So, they clearly have a lot of useful resources and link to interesting readings.

Yet, what is ACL?

“The Association for Computational Linguistics is the international scientific and professional society for people working on problems involving natural language and computation. An annual meeting is held each summer in locations where significant computational linguistics research is carried out.”

The field is often referred to as either computational linguistics or natural language processing (NLP).

This association was founded as far back as in 1962.

Before it was name the Association for Machine Translation and Computational Linguistics (AMTCL), then it became the ACL in 1968.

What is computational Linguistics?

“Computational linguistics is the scientific study of language from a computational perspective.”

These models can be “knowledge-based” (“hand-crafted”) or “data-driven” (“statistical” or “empirical”).

On their website they suggest to introduction books to the field:

  1. “Christopher Manning and Hinrich Schütze (1999) Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. MIT Press.
    Also see the book’s
    supplemental materials website at Stanford.
  2. Daniel Jurafsky and James Martin (2008) An Introduction to Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, and Speech Recognition, Second Edition. Prentice Hall.”

There are different regional chapters:

  • EACL : The European Chapter of the ACL
  • NAACL : The North American Chapter of the ACL
  • AACL: The Asia-Pacific Chapter of the ACL

The current President is from Germany and his name is Hinrich Schütze, LMU Munich, Germany.

There is currently a call for abstracts in NLP beyond text:

“Humans interact with each other through several means (e.g., voice, gestures, written text, facial expressions, etc.) and a natural human-machine interaction system should preserve the same modality. However, traditional Natural Language Processing (NLP) focuses on analyzing textual input to solve language understanding and reasoning tasks, and other modalities are only partially targeted.”

This is fascinating!

As it attempts to go beyond texts into other ways humans communicate.

They even have a wiki with more than 2,000 pages:

Additionally, they have made a mirror for past conferences:

ACL is clearly a treasure trove of knowledge and thinking on the topic of computational linguistics or natural-language processing.

Hope you enjoyed this article and became more interested in ACL.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 428. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days.

AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau