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Joyce Chai named ACL Fellow for significant contributions to grounded natural language processing and the interaction between language processing and robotics

Prof. Chai has been recognized for significant contributions to grounded natural language processing and the interaction between language processing and robotics.
Joyce Chai
Prof. Joyce Chai

Prof. Joyce Chai has been named an ACL Fellow by the Association for Computational Linguistics “for significant contributions to grounded natural language processing and the interaction between language processing and robotics.”

Prof. Chai’s research interests include natural language processing, situated dialogue, human-robot communication, and artificial intelligence. Her recent work explores the intersection of language, vision, and robotics, particularly focusing on grounded language processing to facilitate situated communication with robots and other artificial agents. 

Prof. Chai and her students were recently recognized with an Outstanding Paper Award at the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP) for “MindCraft: Theory of Mind Modeling for Situated Dialogue in Collaborative Tasks.” In that paper, the researchers describe how they designed a new framework and collected a new dataset to train AI agents to reason about  human mental models  during collaboration.

Prof. Chai joined the faculty at Michigan in 2019. From 2003–2019, she was a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University. Prior to MSU, she was a research staff member at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. 

She has served on the executive board of North America Chapter of Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL), as a Program Co-chair for multiple conferences – most recently the 2020 Annual Meeting of Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) – and as an associate editor for several journals including Computational Linguistics, Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR), and ACM Transaction on Interactive Intelligent Systems (TiiS). She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Award (2004), and the William Beal Distinguished Scholar Award from MSU (2018). She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Duke University.

At U-M, Prof. Chai is a member of Michigan AI Lab and directs the Situated Language and Embodied Dialogue (SLED) research group. She is also affiliated with the Michigan Robotics Institute.

About the ACL Fellowship Program

The Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) is the premier international scientific and professional society for people working on computational problems involving human language, a field often referred to as either computational linguistics or natural language processing (NLP). The ACL Fellows program was established in 2011 by the ACL, and recognizes ACL members whose contributions to the field have been most extraordinary in terms of scientific and technical excellence, service to the association and the community and/or educational or outreach activities with broader impact. 

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Artificial Intelligence; Assistive Technology; Autonomy, AI & Robotics; Honors and Awards; Joyce Chai