Professional Development
AI / Universities

This AI expert left Meta to lead CMU’s Language Technologies Institute

"We are at an inflection point for this technology and the discipline as a whole," Mona Diab said. "It is a critical time to take into account its impact and sustainability."

Mona Diab. (Courtesy Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science)

Carnegie Mellon University’s Language Technologies Institute has a new director, and she’s a well-respected linguist who comes to the university after working for Meta as the lead responsible AI scientist.

Meet Mona Diab, an expert on Arabic natural language processing, multilingual processing and computational social sciences. Now, the university says she’ll be using her past experience to make the institute stronger. For her part, Diab is looking forward to training both students and researchers to think responsibly about how artificial intelligence impacts the world around them.

“We’re living in a world of proliferating AI and generative AI. There is so much at stake,” the academic said in a written statement. “We are at an inflection point for this technology and the discipline as a whole. It is a critical time to take into account its impact and sustainability.”

Prior to Diab’s time at Meta, she worked as a principal scientist at Amazon Web Services. CMU isn’t the first college campus where Diab has worked: She was also a professor at George Washington University, where she founded the CARE4Lang Lab.

At CMU, she aims to build a “responsible thinking” framework into technology at the very beginning so potential harms can be avoided. Throughout her career, Diab said, she has witnessed these harms with the spread of social media platforms to other countries without being designed to accommodate the nuances of non-western countries. (Here’s more about these threats from the Partnership to Advance Responsible Technology’s 2022 Responsible Tech Summit.)

On CMU’s part, the university and institute both have confidence in Diab’s ability to bring her expertise and a sense of responsibility to the campus.

“Mona Diab’s relentless pursuit of responsible AI in both academia and industry will strengthen the work of the Language Technologies Institute, School of Computer Science and Carnegie Mellon University as we seek to empower future generations of AI talent and develop a new wave of transformative technologies in an ethical, fair and sustainable manner,” said Martial Hebert, dean of the School of Computer Science.

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
Companies: Meta / Carnegie Mellon University /
Series: Power Moves

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