The Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia) is organizing an international conference “Linguistic Forum 2020: Language and Artificial Intelligence” to be held November 12-14, 2020. This conference is part of a series of annual linguistic forums initiated by the Institute of Linguistics RAS in 2019 each dedicated to a socially important aspect of the science of language. The 2019 forum took as its topic the UN Year of Indigenous Languages.
The aim of the 2020 forum is to foster dialogue among researchers working at the interface of linguistics and artificial intelligence including those engaged in computational linguistics and natural language processing. Developments in AI have been responsible for recent advances in natural language generation and comprehension; they have also expanded the boundaries of these technologies’ applicability. Neural networks and dense embeddings have replaced models based on feature engineering and traditional discrete categories of linguistic analysis. As a result, the boundary between fundamental and applied linguistic research is being eroded. Empirical linguistics is taking on board these new technologies, in part, to enable better modelling of language and documentation of data. AI is also increasingly becoming a part of the everyday life of language users. Can fundamental linguistics currently offer technologically viable ideas or methods? These and similar conceptual and methodological problems will be the focus of the forum.