At last, a computer that understands you like your mother.
--1985, McDonnell-Douglas ad (Lee, 2004)

Selected Keynotes, talks, panel participations and other updates

  • Feb 2024: Keynote speaker at the First Workshop on NLP for Human Resources in Malta, EACL 2024.
  • Feb 2024: Keynote speaker at the First D3A 2024 conference in Nyborg Strand. Talk on "Human-facing Natural Language Processing"
  • Jan 2024: I got elected VP-Elect for the ACL!
  • Sep 2023: I run as VP-Elect for ACL. The elections are open now. You can vote until October 31, 2023.
  • Sep 2023: Keynote speaker at GCPR 2023 in Heidelberg. Talk on "Human-centric Natural Language Processing"
  • Sep 2023: Keynote speaker at CLEF 2023 in Thessaloniki. Talk on "Human-centric Natural Language Processing"
  • July 2023: Keynote speaker at Text+ 2023 conference in Mannheim. Talk on "How and Why to Deal with Human Label Variation in NLP"
  • May 2023: Tutorial at the AILC summer school in Pisa in May [slides]
  • June 2022: Keynote speaker at CliC-It 2021, Milan
  • June 2022: Keynote speaker at SAIS 2022, Stockholm
  • May 2022: Keynote speaker at ACL Workshop on Insights from Negative Results in NLP, Dublin
  • December 2021: Invited speaker at the NeurIPS workshop on Efficient Natural Language and Speech Processing and keynote speaker at ALTA 2021 (Australasian Language Technology Association)
  • October 2021: Invited speaker and panel discussion at the Workshop on Ethics, AI, Technology and Society organized by Chalmers University at the Världskulturmuseet in Göteborg, Sweden
  • September 2021: Invited speaker at the DALI end-of-project workshop at Queen Mary University, London
  • August 2021: Career panel discussion at ESSLLI 2021 (with Marco Baroni and Noah Smith)
  • July 2021: Invited talk at the 2nd ELLIS NLP workshop
  • July 2021: Invited talk on Transfer and Multi-Task Learning in NLP at LxMLS (Lisbon machine learning summer school) 2021. You can find the video lectures on YouTube
  • May 2021: Panel discussion at WAIN, ICSE (Software Engineering and AI)
  • May 2021: Invited talks at Cambridge University and Uppsala University
  • December 2020: Keynote on Tackling the long tail in NLP: Transfer to low-resource language, varieties and dialects at Vardial (COLING 2020)
  • November 2020: Panel discussion at WASP4ALL (Virtual Worlds for Artificial Intelligence)
  • September 2019: Opening keynote on Deep Transfer Learning: Learning across Languages, Modalities and Tasks at the NLPL workshop on Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing, Turku
  • August 2019: I gave a keynote on Transfering NLP models across domains and languages at SyntaxFest, Paris
  • May 2019: I gave an invited talk on Deep Learning for Natural Language Processing at IDA AI Event, Copenhagen
  • December 2018: I gave an invited talk on Multi-task Learning in Natural Language Processing at Turku AI Meetup, Finland, December 19, 2018
  • December 2018: I gave an invited talk on Transfer Learning in Turku, Finland, December 19, 2018
  • November 2018: I gave a keynote on "Learning X^2: Natural Language Processing across Languages and Domains" at the UDW 2018 workshop at EMNLP 2018
  • June 2018: I gave an invited talk at the LCT day 2018 in Nancy, France, June 27, 2018
  • 2017-2018: NAACL 2018 area chair
  • June 2018: Invited talk at Uppsala University, Lectures on Language Technology and Machine Learning, Uppsala, June 8, 2018
  • June 2018: WiNLP 2018 career panel discussion, New Orleans, June 2, 2018
  • June 2018: NAACL 2018 ethics in NLP panel discussion, New Orleans, June 3, 2018
  • June 2018: keynote speaker at the NAACL workshop on Stylistic Variation, New Orleans, June 5, 2018
  • June 2018: keynote speaker at the NAACL workshop on Subword & Character Level Models in NLP (SCLeM), New Orleans, June 6, 2018
  • March 2018: visiting scholar at University of Malta
  • March 2018: talk at the Natural Language Processing MeetUp at the University of Zurich, March 20, 2018
  • March 2018 talk at Women in Data Science WiDS 2018, Zurich, March 21, 2018
  • November 2017: Visited Edinburgh NLP to give a talk at the ILLC colloqium series (November 24, 2017)
  • September 2017: I won the IJCNLP 2017 shared task on multilingual customer feedback analysis (ranked 1st / 12 teams)!
  • September 6-11: I'll be at EMNLP 2017, Copenhagen
  • July 28-29: Excited to be invited speaker at the Google NLU (Natural Language Understanding) workshop, New York
  • July 2017: keynote speaker at PyData, Berlin, July, 2017
  • 2016-2017: ACL 2017 area co-chair (for tagging, chunking and parsing)
  • 2016-2017: EACL 2017 student research workshop senior faculty advisor

Community service (selected)

MaiNLP Research Lab @CIS LMU

I am head of the MaiNLP research lab at CIS, LMU Munich.

We are part of:

Research interests:
  • learning under sample selection bias (domain adaptation, transfer learning) and annotation bias
  • learning under limited data, continual learning, semi-supervised and weakly-supervised machine learning applied to cross-domain and cross-language natural language processing.
  • multimodal learning, including learning at the language and vision or speech interface and learning from human data
  • fortuitous supervision to enable variety-space aware natural language understanding
  • Lab Members

    Visit the MaiNLP research lab web page for more info on current members and job openings.

    We are part of the CIS at LMU. You can find us at Akademiestr. 7, 80799 Munich.
    Lab members at ITU are part of the Computer Science department at ITU and affiliated with the NLP north research unit at Rued Langaards Vej 7, 2300 Copenhagen S.

    Fortuitous data

    Ultimately, NLP should be able to handle any language and any domain. However, there is still a long way to go! Our models need training data, but annotated data is biased and scarce. One way to address this problem of training data sparsity is to leverage data that so far has been neglected or rests in non-obvious places. Such fortuitous data [1] includes using hyperlinks to build more robust Part-of-Speech taggers or named-entity recognizers, learning from annotator disagreement and using behavioral data such as gaze or keystrokes [2] to inform NLP. Read up more:

    1. Barbara Plank. What to do about non-standard (or non-canonical) language in NLP. In KONVENS 2016. [arXiv]
    2. Barbara Plank. Keystroke dynamics as signal for shallow syntactic parsing. The 26 th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING). Osaka, Japan. [arXiv]
    3. Barbara Plank et al., 2016. Improving language technology with fortuitous data, ESSLLI 2016 summer school.

Selected Publications

Selected publications (more)

  • Rob van der Goot, Ibrahim Sharaf, Aizhan Imankulova, Ahmet Üstün, Marija Stepanović, Alan Ramponi, Siti Oryza Khairunnisa, Mamoru Komachi and Barbara Plank. From Masked-Language Modeling to Translation: Non-English Auxiliary Tasks Improve Zero-shot Spoken Language Understanding. NAACL, 2021.
  • Claudio Greco, Barbara Plank, Raquel Fernández, Raffaella Bernardi. Psycholinguistics meets Continual Learning: Measuring Catastrophic Forgetting in Visual Question Answering. In ACL 2019. [ArXiV] [ACL Anthology]
  • Sigrid Klerke and Barbara Plank. At a Glance: The Impact of Gaze Aggregation Views on Syntactic Tagging. In LANTERN, EMNLP 2019 workshop, Hong Kong.
  • Barbara Plank and Željko Agić. Distant supervision from disparate sources for low-resource part-of-speech tagging. In Proceedings of EMNLP 2018. [arXiv]
  • Sebastian Ruder and Barbara Plank. Strong Baselines for Neural Semi-supervised Learning under Domain Shift. In ACL 2018, Melbourne, Australia. [arXiv]
  • Sebastian Ruder and Barbara Plank. Learning to select data for transfer learning with Bayesian Optimization. In EMNLP 2017, Copenhagen, Denmark. [arXiv]
  • Héctor Martínez Alonso and Barbara Plank. When is multitask learning effective? Semantic sequence prediction under varying data conditions. In EACL (long). [pdf] [arXiv]
  • Barbara Plank. Keystroke dynamics as signal for shallow syntactic parsing. The 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING). Osaka, Japan. [arXiv] received finalist for best paper award
  • Johannes Bjerva, Barbara Plank and Johan Bos. Semantic Tagging with Deep Residual Networks. The 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING). Osaka, Japan. [arXiv]
  • Chloe Braud, Barbara Plank and Anders Søgaard. Multi-view and multi-task training of RST discourse parsers. The 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING). [pdf]
  • Barbara Plank. What to do about non-standard (or non-canonical) language in NLP. In KONVENS 2016. [pdf] [arXiv]
  • Barbara Plank, Anders Søgaard and Yoav Goldberg. Multilingual Part-of-Speech Tagging with Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory Models and Auxiliary Loss. In ACL (short), 2016. [arXiv]
  • Ben Verhoeven, Walter Daelemans and Barbara Plank. TwiSty: a Multilingual Twitter Stylometry Corpus for Gender and Personality Profiling. In LREC 2016.
  • Raffaella Bernardi, Ruket Cakici, Desmond Elliott, Aykut Erdem, Erkut Erdem, Nazli Ikizler-Cinbis, Frank Keller, Adrian Muscat and Barbara Plank. Automatic Description Generation from Images: A Survey of Models, Datasets, and Evaluation Measures. To appear in JAIR. [JAIR]

Selected talks

  • May 26, 2022: ACL 2022 workshop on Insights from Negative Results (virtual), "Off the beaten track: On Serendipity and Turning 'Failures' into Signal" [YouTube]
  • November 5, 2020: WASP AI conference (virtual), "Multi Task Learning in Natural Language Processing" [YouTube]
  • November 2, 2018: EMNLP 2018 talk on "Distant Supervision from Disparate Sources" [Vimeo video ]
  • March 19, 2018, Zurich NLP MeetUp "Transfer Learning in NLP", Zurich [Tube Switch video ]
  • July 28, 2017, Google Research NLU workshop, New York
  • July 1, 2017: PyData 2017 Berlin, Natural Language Processing: Challenges and Next Frontiers [YouTube]
  • March 28, 2017, Geneva: "What to do about non-canonical data in NLP"
  • March 27, 2017, Geneva: "Multi-task learning in NLP: What? How? When?"
  • March 14, 2017, Keynote at the Nuance Research Conference (NRC) 2017: "Beyond text: fortuitous data and deep multi-task learning for processing non-standard text"
  • March 10, 2017, Milan: "Introduction to Natural Language Processing"
  • YRNLP, Osaka Japan, December 10, 2016, Young Researcher in Natural Language Processing in Japan: "Variety in research, research in variety"


Community Service and Commissions of Trust (selected)

  • Chair & board member:
    • VP-Elect for the ACL (2024-)
    • Chair of the EACL 2024 best paper award committee
    • EACL advisory board member (2019-2022)
    • EMNLP 2021 area chair (Resources and Evaluation)
    • AKBC 2021 area chair
    • EACL 2021 senior area chair (Resources and Evaluation)
    • NoDaLiDa 2021 program chair
    • EurNLP 2020 program advisory chair (postponed)
    • ACL 2020 senior area chair (Resources and Evaluation)
    • NoDaLiDa 2019 general chair
    • EurNLP 2019 program co-chair
    • WiDS 2019 Copenhagen main co-organizer
    • ACL 2019 workshop co-chair
    • EMNLP 2019 area chair
    • NAACL 2018 area chair (Multilingual NLP including Phonology, Morphology and Word Segmentation)
    • ESSLLI 2018 Program Chair for Language and Computation
    • ACL 2017 area chair (Tagging, Chunking, Syntax and Parsing)
    • EACL 2017 Student research workshop faculty advisor
    • Editorial board member Computational Linguistics journal (2017-2019)
    • Editorial board member TACL journal (2018-2010)
    • ACL 2016 publicity chair
    • EMNLP 2015 publicity chair
  • Program committee for conferences (selected): AAAI 2018, 2017, 2016; NIPS 2018, 2017, 2016; ACL 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013; EMNLP 2016, 2015, 2014; NAACL 2019, 2016; CoNLL 2017, 2016, 2015; COLING 2016, 2014; KONVENS 2016; IJCNLP 2014; *SEM 2015;
  • Program committee for workshops (selected): NAACL SRW 2016; CL4LC 2016; DADA 2016; MWE 2016,2015; LAW 2016; L&V 2016; NoDaLiDa 2013, 2015; NLPIT 2016, 2015; IWPT 2015; SemEval 2015; IJCAI 2013; CLIN 20;
  • Journals (selected): TACL; Computational Linguistics; Information Processing and Management Journal 2013; Journal of Logic and Computation special issue, 2012; PLOS One; JIS 2016;

Bio, Teaching & more

Short Bio

  • April 2022-: Full Professor and Chair of AI & Computational Linguistics, LMU Munich
  • July 2021-: Full Professor, IT University of Copenhagen (ITU)
  • May 2018-June 2021: Associate Professor (tenured), IT University of Copenhagen (ITU)
  • April 2016-Mar 2018: Assistant Professor (tenured), University of Groningen (RUG)
  • Sep 2014-Mar 2016: Assistant Professor, CST, University of Copenhagen (UCPH)
  • Aug 2013-Aug 2014: Postdoc, CST, Copenhagen Lowlands
  • Nov 2011-Jun 2013: Postdoc, DISI, Trento LiMoSiNe project
  • 2007-2011: Ph.D., cum laude, University of Groningen
  • MSc European Masters Program in Language and Communication Technologies (EM-LCT), cum laude. Joint degree from the University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy) and University of Amsterdam (UvA, The Netherlands) (2007).
  • BSc, Computer Science, University of Bozen-Bolzano (2005).


  • Since 2019 (to be updated):
    • Athens NLP summer school: Encoder-decoder models
    • Second Year Project in the BSc in Data Science, ITU: Introduction to NLP and deep learning
    • Guest course as visiting researcher at the University of Malta: Advanced topics in LCT (NLP and deep learning)
  • 2017-2018:
    • Deep Learning for Social Media Processing (course given as visiting scholar in Malta)
    • Language Technology project (i.e., project-based intro to Deep Learning for NLP, Master's level)
    • Collecting Data (Master in Digital Humanities)
    • Shared Task (Master's level)
    • Bachelorscriptie Informatiekunde
    • Computationele Grammatica
    • Inl.wetensch.onderzoek/Introduction to research methods
    • Digital Skills
  • 2016-2017:
    • Language Technology project (Master's)
    • Collecting Data (new Master in Digital Humanities)
    • Bachelorscriptie Informatiekunde
    • Computationele Grammatica
    • Inl.wetensch.onderzoek/Introduction to research methods
  • Summer 2016: ESSLLI 2016 summer school on Fortuitous data, Bozen-Bolzano
  • Spring 2016: Language Technology Project, RUG
  • Spring 2016: Language Processing 2, UCPH (initial lectures before departure)
  • Autumn 2015: Cognitive Science 1, UCPH
  • Spring 2015: Language Processing 2, UCPH
  • Autumn 2014: Cognitive Science 1, UCPH

Code & Data

Press & Media