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Alona Fyshe

Fellow & Canada CIFAR AI Chair

Academic Affilications

Assistant Professor – University of Alberta (Computing Science & Psychology)

Industry and Research Affilications

Fellow – Learning in Machines and Brains Program (CIFAR)

Areas of Expertise

Artificial intelligence; machine learning; representation learning; neural language models, natural language processing; computational linguistics; neuroscience; neuroimaging

Alona Fyshe combines her interests in computational linguistics, machine learning and neuroscience to study the way the human brain processes language.

From words to screen and back

Alona Fyshe combines her interests in computational linguistics, machine learning and neuroscience to study the way the human brain processes language. Using machine learning to analyze brain images collected while people read, she studies how humans represent the meaning they encounter in text, and how they combine words to understand higher-order meaning. She’s also interested in how computers learn to represent meaning when trained on text or images. Developing algorithms that can generalize beyond common word usage, Alona works toward computer programs that can truly understand language, and develop a deeper understanding of the world in which we live. By using brain images of people reading, she explores how the human brain handles the complexities of language, which could inspire the next generation of semantic models. Alona has discovered interesting connections between meaning representations in computer models and those in the human brain. Those connections serve to advance both our understanding of the brain and the state of the art in machine learning.

Alona is an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the departments of Computing Science and Psychology at the University of Alberta. She is also a Fellow and Canada CIFAR AI Chair at Amii and a Fellow of CIFAR’s Learning in Machines and Brains program – in addition to having been named a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar. Prior to her appointment at the University of Alberta, Alona was an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria and, before that, a Software Engineer with Google using machine learning to create better online shopping experiences. Alona holds two degrees (BSc and MSc in Computing Science) from the University of Alberta as well as a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. Alona has been invited to speak at leading international conferences such as the Annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society Conference, the Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience, and the annual meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics.

Featured Articles

Alona is a Canada CIFAR AI Chair at Amii and a Fellow of CIFAR’s Learning in Machines and Brains program.

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Articles by Alona Fyshe

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