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Slugs and Steins with Pranav Anand

March 11 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm  |  Virtual Event


Pranav Anand joins Slugs and Steins to deliver his talk titled “Language Models: A Selective History and Notes on the Future.” Drawing on the Humanities Division’s Humanizing Technology curriculum, will highlight some of the history of language models now ascendant in systems like ChatGPT. We will wend our way from early cryptography through the beginnings of machine translation, and into the data-rich present of large language models. Along the way, we will contemplate the ways that developments in technology have been driven by historical backdrop, and leverage that understanding to contemplate what the near future will look like.

Pranav AnandPranav Anand is a Professor of Linguistics at UC Santa Cruz and Faculty Director of the Humanities Institute, specializing in semantics and pragmatics, particularly in the study of context-dependence, perspectival expressions, and subjectivity. His work, which leverages linguistic fieldwork, logical analysis, philosophy of language, and computational linguistics, has examined affect and sentiment, debate and persuasion, narrative, ellipsis and fragments, and modality and knowledge.

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Slugs and Steins are free informal lectures served up over Zoom. Brought to you by the UC Santa Cruz Alumni Association, each talk will engage one of our favorite professors in discussion with you, the local community of Silicon Valley, and beyond. We will cover everything from organic artichokes to endangered zebras, self-driving cars to Shakespeare. All are welcome. Audience participation is encouraged.


March 11
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm