Hal Daumé III Is a Language Person

Feb 28, 2024

In a wide-ranging Q&A with Roadmap magazine, Hal Daumé III speaks to his passions: language, developing AI systems that work better for people and for society, and family life as the parent of a toddler. He also throws in some commentary on béchamel sauce and The Terminator.

Daumé is a professor of computer science with appointments in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and the Language Science Center. In 2023, he became director of the Institute for Trustworthy AI in Law & Society (TRAILS), a multi-institutional effort to transform the practice of AI from one driven primarily by technological innovation to one that is driven by ethics, human rights, and input and feedback from communities whose voices have previously been marginalized.

In one of his responses regarding promoting fairness, transparency and explainability in many of the AI systems deployed today, Daumé said: “If I could wave my magic wand and change one thing, I would get people to stop worrying about quote unquote ‘autonomous AI systems’ and start thinking more about building systems that help people. This is often called augmented intelligence instead of artificial intelligence.”

Read the full Roadmap interview with Daumé here.