Oct. 07, 2021

BGU Main Campus, Bld. 98, Ohayon Auditorium (attendees will be required to present 'tav yarok' at the campus gate)


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Registration form »​​​​​​​​​​​​​​






Registration and coffee


Opening remarks

Oren Tsur 


Orals A

Roy Schwartz


Filling the Gaps in Ancient Akkadian Texts: A Masked Language Modelling Approach

Koren Lazar, Asaf Yehudai, Gabriel Stanovsky, Benny Saret, Nathan Wasserman and Wayne Horowitz


QA-Align: Representing Cross-Text Content Overlap by Aligning Question-Answer Propositions

Daniela Brook Weiss, Paul Roit, Ayal Klein, Ori Ernst and Ido Dagan


How to Do Things without Words: Modeling Semantic Drift of Emoji

Eyal Arviv and Oren Tsur


Q^2: Evaluating Factual Consistency in Knowledge-Grounded Dialogues via Question Generation and Question Answering

Or Honovich, Leshem Choshen, Roee Aharoni, Ella Neeman, Idan Szpektor and Omri Abend


Cryptonite: A Cryptic Crossword Benchmark for Extreme Ambiguity in Language

Avia Efrat, Uri Shaham and Omer Levy


Coffee break


Keynote 1: Dafna Shahaf

Yonatan Belinkov


Posters 1 + ​​Lunch


Orals B

Gabi Stanovsky


AlephBERT: Pre-training and End-to-End Language Models Evaluation from Sub-Word to Sentence Level

Amit Seker, Elron Bandel, Dan Bareket, Idan Brusilovsky, Refael Greenfeld and Reut Tsarfaty


Back to Square One: Bias Detection, Training and Commonsense Disentanglement in the Winograd Schema

Yanai Elazar, Hongming Zhang, Yoav Goldberg and Dan Roth


The Possible, the Plausible, and the Desirable: Event-Based Modality Detection for Language Processing

Valentina Pyatkin, Shoval Sadde, Aynat Rubinstein, Paul Portner and Reut Tsarfaty


The Grammar-Learning Trajectories of Neural Language Models

Leshem Choshen, Guy Hacohen, Daphna Weinshall and Omri Abend


New Conversation Types for Multi-domain conversational AI

Gilad Landau and Jackie Assa


Coffee break 


Keynote 2: Noam Slonim

Yuval Pinter


Pos​ters 2​


Closing remarks

Yuval Pinter ​

Keynote Speaker 01: Dr. Noam Slonim 



Project Debater – an autonomous debating system

Abstract: Project Debater is the first AI system that can meaningfully debate a human opponent. The system, an IBM Grand Challenge, is designed to build coherent, convincing speeches on its own, as well as provide rebuttals to the opponent's main arguments. In 2019, Project Debater competed against Harish Natarajan, who holds the world record for most debate victories, in an event held in San Francisco that was broadcasted live world-wide. In this talk I will tell the story of Project Debater, from conception to a climactic final event, describe its underlying technology and its value to business use cases, and present the results of recent systematic evaluation of the system performance.

Short Bio: Noam Slonim is a Distinguished Engineer at IBM Research AI. He received his doctorate from the Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation at the Hebrew University and held a post-doc position at the Genomics Institute at Princeton University. Noam joined the IBM Haifa Research Lab in 2007, and in 2011 he proposed to develop Project Debater. He has been serving as the Principal Investigator of the project since then. 

Keynote Speaker 02: Prof. Dafna Shahaf 

Dafna Shahaf.png


Double feature: Modeling cultural phenomena​


In this talk we'll cover two recent works. In the first, we introduce a novel setting in humor mining: automatically detecting funny and unusual scientific papers. We are inspired by the Ig Nobel prize, a satirical prize awarded annually to celebrate funny scientific achievements (example past winner: “Are cows more likely to lie down the longer they stand?"). 

In the second, we focus on snowclones -- customizable phrasal templates that can be realized in multiple, instantly recognized variants. For example, “* is the new *" (orange is the new black, 40 is the new 30). We develop a system that can automatically detect cultural references in text and evaluate it via a user study. We hope that detecting snowclones can complement work on paraphrasing and help tackling long-standing questions in social science about the dynamics of information propagation..

Short Bio: Dafna Shahaf is an Associate Professor in computer science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dafna's research focuses on helping people make sense of massive amounts of data, with a special emphasis on unlocking the potential of the many digital traces left by human activity to contribute to our understanding (and computer emulation) of human capacities such as humor and creativity. She received her PhD from Carnegie Mellon University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and at Microsoft Research. Prof. Shahaf has won multiple awards, including best research paper awards at KDD 2010 and KDD 2017, an ERC starting grant, a Microsoft Research Fellowship, a Siebel Scholarship, a Magic Grant for innovative ideas and Wolf's Foundation Krill Award, as well as MIT Tech Review's "Most thought-provoking paper of the week".​

​​​​ISCOL 2021 - Israeli Seminar on Computational Linguistics​

Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing are active research and development fields in Israel today, both in academia and industry. ISCOL i​s a venue for exchanging ideas, reporting on work in progress and established results, forming collaborations, and advancing connections between academia and industry. ISCOL is also a friendly stage for students for their first appearance in this community.​​​​​​​​

Call for Pa​pers

S​​ubmi​t »  ​

Submission Instructions

We invite presentations on recent work in all areas of computational linguistics, natural language processing and all closely related fields. We accept work underway, provided that it represents recent and original work of interest to our audience.

We accept two kinds of submissions:

1. Extended abstracts (up to 2 pages, not including references). 

2. Full papers that were submitted to another Computational Linguistics venue. Please indicate in the end of the abstract field on the submission form whether the paper was accepted (and in this case, to which venue), rejected, or is currently under review. 

​Submission deadline: September 5. 

Visiting​​​​ BGU​​

You can reach Ben-Gurion University of the Negev by car or public transportation.
  • Car - take highway 4 south from Tel-Aviv, switch to highway 41 East in Ashdod and then follow highway 40 South to Beer-Sheva.

  • Israel Railways schedule and fares (in English and Hebrew) information at 03-5774000
    or 04-8564444. Get off at Beer Sheva north station. Take the Mexico Bridge to the campus.

  • Egged Bus Service schedule and fares (in English and Hebrew ) information at 03-6948888. 
    Get off at Reger Road and Ben-Gurion Boulevard intersection. (bottom left corner of map above.)

  • Metropoline Bus Service schedule and fares (in Hebrew only ) information at *5900 
    e-mail: info@metropoline.com. Get off at Reger Road and Ben-Gurion Boulevard intersection. (bottom left corner of map )




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