Entry Date:
April 8, 2019

A Model to Learn All the World’s Languages

Principal Investigator Roger Levy

Co-investigators Regina Barzilay , David Pesetsky

native English speakers, Swahili sounds completely different from Quechua, but research shows that most languages share common properties. That may explain why humans learn language so easily, acquiring new words and concepts from context, while deep learning models require mountains of training data. The need for so much data leaves voice recognition and translation software beyond reach for thousands of languages that are spoken globally, but are not yet in machine-readable form. Researchers are developing a machine-learning framework to reveal the biases that let children learn language so quickly and to also improve and extend language-learning models to thousands of data-scarce languages in the world.