Language and AI: Research

February 28, 2024

Featured Speaker: David Bamman (

David Bamman, School of Information (He/him)

David Bamman is an associate professor in the School of Information at UC Berkeley, where he works in the areas of natural language processing and cultural analytics, applying NLP and machine learning to empirical questions in the humanities and social sciences. 

Conversation Leader: Rick Kern (

Rick Kern, French Department (He/him)

Rick Kern is Professor of French and Chair of the French Department. Previously he served for 16 years as Director of the BLC. He teaches courses in French linguistics, language, and foreign language pedagogy, and supervises graduate teaching assistants.  His research interests include language acquisition, literacy, and relationships between language and technology.

Panelists: Claudia von Vacano (, Emily Hellmich (

Claudia von Vacano, UC Berkeley D-Lab and Digital Humanities (She/her/they/them)

Dr. Claudia von Vacano, at the helm of Berkeley's D-Lab and Digital Humanities, offers over twenty years of experience in education research and policy. Holding advanced degrees from Stanford and UC Berkeley, she specializes in diversity in data science, analyzing hate speech, and pioneering methods for creating debiased, transparent AI.

  • I pronounce my name like in Spanish. The Spanish pronunciation of "Claudia" can be phonetically written as "KLOW-dee-ah." Here's a breakdown:

    • "Clau-" is pronounced like "Klow," rhyming with "how" or "now."

    • "-dia" is pronounced as "dee-ah," where "dee" rhymes with "see" and "ah" is like the "a" in "father."

Emily Hellmich, Berkeley Language Center (She/her)

Emily A. Hellmich (PhD,  University of California, Berkeley) is the Associate Director of the Berkeley Language Center. Her current research project, in collaboration with Dr. Kimberly Vinall, focuses on developing AI literacies in language learners.