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The Impact of AI on Language Acquisition Research

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The Impact of AI on Language Acquisition Research

Speaker: Dr Abdellah Fourtassi, Aix-Marseille University | Host: Dr Sara de Felice, Dept. of Psychology, University of Cambridge

Computer modelling has long been an essential tool in researching children’s early language acquisition. It enables researchers to experiment with learning mechanisms over developmental timescales, which is not feasible with actual children due to ethical considerations. Traditional simulations have typically operated on oversimplified inputs and have been used primarily as proof of concept. Modern AI is transforming computational modelling in child language learning. With its capacity to find patterns in complex, high-dimensional data, AI enables models to scale to the intricacies of children’s natural developmental contexts, facilitating empirical discoveries.

In this talk, I will identify open challenges in child language development, such as how children derive substantial linguistic knowledge from minimal sensory input, how their cognitive abilities integrate to support efficient learning, and how their early communicative interactions result in better learning performance. I then detail and argue, via several case studies, how strategic application of AI tools can address these challenges more effectively, providing solutions that traditional methods alone might not achieve. The goal is to show that AI can be effectively woven into the child language acquisition methodological landscape, fostering synergies and integration.

Meeting ID: 362 971 038 65​ | Passcode: 68Yosm

This talk is part of the Centre for Family Research Seminar Series 2023/24 series.

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