Assistant Professor, Department of French
Ewan Dunbar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of French.
Dunbar specializes in computational linguistics and aims to build and understand computer systems that can learn and use human language. His work focuses on speech perception, automatic speech recognition, text-to-speech synthesis, as well as understanding and explaining commonalities between human languages and the sounds they use.
Tools like speech recognition and speech synthesis can still make a lot of mistakes when compared to human beings, and require curated data in order to learn, making them infeasible to construct for most of the world's languages, accents and language varieties. By seeking to make these systems more human-like, Dunbar hopes to also make them more robust and data-efficient, and thereby unlock new potential for speech technology.
Dunbar received his bachelor of science and master of arts degrees from the University of Toronto and his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park. He spent four years as a postdoctoral researcher at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and three years as faculty at the Université Paris Diderot, Paris VII, now Université de Paris, before returning to Toronto to join the French linguistics group in the Department of French.