The impact of NLP progress is moving fast, but the world tends to be mostly moved by larger trends (like very huge language models/datasets or research from prestigious conferences). As a consequence, smaller, yet impactful efforts do not get much attention. This talk series provides a platform for anyone to share their efforts in NLP, no matter how small. We love things including one or more African or low-resource languages, but we include everything!

Lanfrica Talks

A space to share your efforts, no matter how small.

We’re implementing a weekly format till December 2022 to specifically enable students and young researchers to showcase their work, whether published or not, and no matter how small. There are 3️⃣ spots available!

Click here to apply to give a talk and make your work known if you are a student or young researcher working on leveraging technologies to enhance African languages.


About Lanfrica Talks

Why are we doing this

The impact of language technologies is growing quickly, but the world tends to be mostly moved by larger trends (like very large language models/datasets or research papers from prestigious conferences). As a consequence, smaller, yet impactful efforts do not get much attention.

This talk series provides a platform for anyone to share/showcase their efforts (research, projects, software, applications, datasets, models, initiatives, etc.) in NLP, no matter how small. We aim to create an online library of knowledge around language technologies and the advancement of African low-resource languages.

Is this only for African languages

No.

We are equally interested in efforts targeting (or that can be transferred to) low-resource languages (these are languages with not much data, societal/research efforts or technologies and recognition) and endangered languages.

Who can give a talk here

We try to be as inclusive as possible.
From students, beginners/experts in NLP, non-NLP, linguists, etc….to senior researchers, lecturers, engineers, scientists, etc. We do not place constraint on your level or field of research.

What can I present/ talk about

There are many things you can give a presentation on.

Here are some examples:
– a research you are working on (whether it is finished or a work in progress)
– some projects you or your organization/institution did/is doing involving African languages
– a pitching session (for example a 5 min pitch after which you get the opinions of the audience)
– a dataset you created (no matter how small)
– thesis presentations (Bachelors, Masters, PhD)
– a talk about a critical question and follow up discussions
– a coding tutorial (for example a project you did on translation or ASR from English to an African language.
– a deep dive into some theory
– a linguistics focused session
– any more ideas you may have

Why should I give a presentation/talk here

There are several advantages you get from giving a talk here:
– advertising your work/research: you especially benefit from a diverse audience involving both people in your field of research and people in other fields -an audience made up of students, researchers, engineers, linguists, etc. This enables you to get very useful, diverse feedback. Also, sharing what you are doing is the best way to get the world to know and benefit from your efforts.
– finding collaboration and/or funding opportunities for your project/research/idea.
– getting useful feedback: a unique feature of this space is that you also get to meet indigenous communities in Africa and beyond who might be directly impacted by your project (and therefore are best positioned to give you useful feedback).
– putting your work (or yourself) on the map: as we record all talks and put them on YouTube, your effort will be somewhere easily accessible many years later!
– practicing a conference/workshop talk: this can be a good venue to practice a presentation you plan to give at another venue. Practice makes perfect!

Why should I attend this talk

– you learn and expand your knowledge: by attending this talk, you get to know about important contributions, ideas, resources, etc. in the space of African languages. For the first time, there is a place for people from different fields (linguistics, science, philosophy, cultural studies, NLP, computer scientists, etc.) to learn from one another.
– networking opportunities: this offers you the opportunity to meet people from different parts of the world, working on exciting topics involving African languages. All this can lead to getting project/research collaborations, internships and other job opportunities.

I want to present/give a talk. What do I do.

Please reach out (via email) or fill this form.

We are here to help, so if you have issues or questions, feel free to write us ([email protected]).

What is the format of each talk/presentation

Time: the time for each talk is flexible. Depending on what you want to present/talk about, we can do up to 30mins for short talks and up to 50mins for long talks. This is just an estimate – we will decide together with You what duration is good for you.

Frequency: our talks are bi-weekly.

Presentation style: we accommodate any style you prefer. We’ve found that using slides with adequate illustrations (pictures, less text) works well.

Recording: a major goal of this talk is to showcase your work for the (now and future) general public. Therefore, unless you strongly disagree, we will be recording the presentation/talk and uploading it to our YouTube Channel. We record all talks so people in the future can benefit from what you have to offer (that is our main goal!).

I have more questions to ask

That’s wonderful! We are looking forward to questions.

You can reach us in any of the following ways that is convenient for you:
Join our Slack and ask your questions in the channel called talks. That’s where we meet and discuss things related to Lanfrica Talks.
Join our mailing list and ask your questions as an email conversation.
– Send an email directly to [email protected]


Upcoming Talk


Recorded Talks


Meet the organizing team

Chris Emezue spends his time between studying, doing research on structure learning/ causal inference at the Mila Quebec AI Institute, ML advocacy at Hugging Face, AfricaNLP research with Masakhane and improving Lanfrica.
Linkedin, Twitter

Bonaventure Dossou holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Master of Science in Data Engineering. I am a Deep Learning Researcher at Mila Quebec AI Institute, working under the supervision of Professor Yoshua Bengio. He previously interned at Roche Canada, and at Google AI. His research areas include Machine & Deep learning (and its application in computer vision, natural language processing for Healthcare, and African Languages).
Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook

Olanrewaju Samuel is a Linguist who aims at creating applicable dataset to solve NLP problems. He does the phonetics of Linguistic phenomena.
Linkedin, Twitter

Jane Immaculate Njoroge is a software developer and data enthusiast studying machine learning. She travels through the multiverse in her spare time.
Linkedin, Twitter