Socio-technical NLP: Keeping the human in the loop with multi-disciplinary teams

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Event details

Wednesday 26 May 2021
Online event
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Speaker: Dr Stuart E. Middleton (University of Southampton)

Title: Socio-technical Natural Language Processing: Keeping the human in the loop with multi-disciplinary teams

In this seminar I will present my research into socio-technical natural language processing (NLP) systems across domains including defence, security, environment and mental health. I will first introduce results from the ESRC-funded FloraGuard project, which experimented with socio-technical AI methodologies for multi-disciplinary teams using simple NLP tools to develop intelligence packages (UK Border Force, Kew Gardens). I will then discuss the follow-on DSTL-funded CYShadowWatch project which used cross-lingual neural relation extraction for intelligence analysis around transnational cybercrime (National Crime Agency, DSTL). I will next provide an overview of three currently active projects, each exploring a different aspect of socio-technical NLP. The NERC-funded GloSAT project is exploring NLP for data rescue of historical measurement documents in a crowd-sourcing environment. The UKRI TAS hub SafeSpacesNLP project is exploring how multi-disciplinary teams can use NLP-based behaviour classification algorithms to identify online harmful behaviours for children and young people. The ESRC-funded ProTecThem project is exploring NLP-based behaviour classification of risky information sharing around sharenting practices. I will conclude with some notes on impact so far and the challenges I see for this research area.

Dr Stuart E. Middleton is a Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Southampton, Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), AIC Group. He has over the last 17 years made internationally recognized contributions to research into the natural language processing and information extraction. Many of his grants are cross-disciplinary in nature, featuring consortia with a mixture of academic and commercial partners experienced in a range of domains and disciplines.

He is currently PI of NERC-funded platform grant GloSAT (Global Surface Air Temperature - NLP for data rescue) and UKRI TAS Hub funded SafeSpacesNLP (Behaviour classification NLP for online harmful behaviours for children and young people). He is CoI of ESRC-funded grant FloraGuard (Tackling the illegal trade in endangered plants - Socio-technical NLP) and ESRC-funded ProTecThem (Building Awareness for Safer and Technology-Savvy Sharenting).

He was chair of the recent WebSci'20 Workshop 'Socio-technical AI systems for defence, cybercrime and cybersecurity' and is a member of the Sector Leads Committee of the UKRI Trustworthy and Autonomous Systems (TAS) Hub. He has been an invited AI expert at both the ATI/DSTL workshop 2019 on 'Decision Support for Military Commanders' and UK Cabinet Office ministerial AI roundtable event 2019 on 'use of AI in policing' which was chaired by the policing minister.

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