UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Speech Science Forum February 25th - Dr. Christopher M. Stewart

25 February 2021, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

Please join us on February 25th for Dr. Christopher M. Stewart's talk, "Human Language Technology and Linguists in Tech".

Event Information

Open to





Dr. Antony Scott Trotter – Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Science

Title: Human Language Technology and Linguists in Tech


In 1985, an evidently exasperated Fred Jelinek exclaimed “Every time we fire a phonetician / linguist, the performance of our system goes up” (reference). While linguists working in tech may have gotten off to a rough start, big tech companies are now actively recruiting linguists, and not just computational linguists! But how can linguistics graduates compete for such positions? This talk addresses how academic approaches to linguistics translate to real-world, ongoing work at Google. From the syntactic and semantic underpinnings of Natural Language Processing to the statistical foundations of Machine Learning, linguistics has clear applications for ubiquitous language technologies. The talk will also provide concrete steps that linguistics students can take to make themselves competitive for enriching, well-paid jobs in tech.

About the Speaker

Dr. Christopher M. Stewart

Analytical Linguist at Google

Dr. Stewart holds a PhD in French Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has held a tenure-track academic position, but also worked in text-to-speech synthesis R&D, data science and human computation. In addition to his day job as an Analytical Linguist at Google LAX, he mentors linguistics PhDs looking for jobs outside academia. He is the co-founder of www.phd2tech.com, volunteers on the Linguistic Society of America's "Linguistics Beyond Academia" Special Interest Group and is currently working on a book project on "Linguists and Linguistics in Tech".

More about Dr. Christopher M. Stewart