Posted on Oct. 2, 2023
We are very proud to announce that Veronique has been nominated for the function of VP-Elect for the ACL Executive Committee.
Below you can read Veronique's statement:
ACL and its conferences are firmly established as a strong brand, attracting researchers from around the world eager to present their work at the ACL venues. The recent societal uptake of a variety of NLP technologies and the large number of government-subsidized and industrial AI programmes worldwide will undoubtedly increase the attraction power of NLP conferences. This evolution, however, also brings challenges to keep the ACL conferences sustainable:
- Over the past few years, the adoption of hybrid conference organization has shown quite some benefits in terms of affordability and flexibility. While it remains important to ensure that ACL conferences remain economically accessible to the wide NLP community, a key challenge will also consist in finding a flexible hybrid and inclusive conference format which fosters interaction and discussion. In the end, we want all NLP researchers to leave the conference with plenty of inspiration and meaningful connections with those they intend to collaborate with.
- While computational linguistics as intrinsically interdisciplinary field lives at the intersection of computer science and linguistics, we observe a predominant focus on CS (and especially DL) papers in the conferences for some years now, often leading to homogeneous programs. The exciting new methodological developments in NLP are definitely key to the ACL conferences. But I believe we also should continue to strive for more balanced conference programs valuing more linguistically-oriented work and with papers discussing issues such as explanation, causality, fairness and data bias, in the end leading to more human-centered NLP.
- Another challenging balancing act: the NLP community is large, spread all over the world, but most work remains focused on English. Although ACL in the last years emphasized the importance of language diversity, NLP for low-resource languages receives scarce attention in the community. Researchers investigating less-resourced languages often experience difficulties to have work published at the main conference if they do not also present results for English, inhibiting progress in NLP for less-resourced languages. As a global organization, I believe ACL has a role to play in fostering dataset creation and language technology serving the needs of speakers around the world. It would make the ACL conferences more representative of the wealth of languages being researched in our community.
Every ACL member is allowed to vote: ACL Elections.