Swabha Swayamdipta

Gabilan Assistant Professor • USC Viterbi CS • Associate Director of USC Center for AI and SocietyUSC NLP


My goal is to design frameworks that allow robust, and reliable frameworks that allow AI systems to be broadly and safely deployed, especially in applications with societal implications. Three directions that this corresponds to are:

  • Safety-Critical, Robust and Reliable Frameworks for Evaluation:
    What cannot be measured, cannot be improved. How can we reliably compare the generative capabilities of language models, and ensure our assessment is robust? How can we tell if performance match can translate to application safety, especially when there are societal implications? How can we evaluate new capabilities in LLMs when we do not necessarily know the correct answer?
  • Understanding the Mechanisms that Drive Language Technologies:
    Even the most reliable evaluation may not reveal much about the mechanisms driving powerful yet opaque models. What do model geometries reveal about the processes underlying our models, and how can we improve models through different designs? Are models by design limited to making some choices which can uniquely identify them?
  • Human and AI Collaboration:
    AI technologies are designed by humans and for humans, the future of AI involves cooperation and collaboration with humans. How can we say when a general-purpose model will reliably serve the custom utility for a human user? Where can these technologies complement human capabilities and where not?

These challenges require novel and creative techniques for redesigning generative evaluation to keep pace with model performance. This brings together a broad array of empirical research with theoretical fundamentals underlying language models.


May 08, 2024 Excited to receive the USC Office of Research and Innovation’s Zumberge Preliminary Studies DEI in Research Award with my co-PI Eric Rice.
Nov 30, 2023 Excited to be appointed as an Associate Director of USC’s Center for AI in Society.
Sep 11, 2023 Honored to receive the Intel Rising Stars Award in 2023!
Jun 23, 2023 Taught NLP and Language Models to high-school students via USC Viterbi K-12 Discover Engineering. Slides adapted from Greg Durrett (thanks!).
May 26, 2023 Made an appearance on ABC7 Live where I talked about the impact of AI.

selected publications

See here for a full list.
  1. Preprint
    Sayan Ghosh , Tejas Srinivasan , and Swabha Swayamdipta
  2. Preprint
    Jaspreet Ranjit , Brihi Joshi , Rebecca Dorn , Laura Petry , Olga Koumoundouros , Jayne Bottarini , Peichen Liu , Eric Rice , and Swabha Swayamdipta
  3. COLM
    Matthew Finlayson , Xiang Ren , and Swabha Swayamdipta
    In Proceedings of COLM (to appear) , 2024
  4. ACL
    Xinyue Cui , and Swabha Swayamdipta
    In Proceedings of ACL (to appear) , 2024
  5. ICLR
    Matthew Finlayson , John Hewitt , Alexander Koller , Swabha Swayamdipta, and Ashish Sabharwal
    In Proceedings of ICLR , 2024
  6. EMNLP
    Alisa Liu , Zhaofeng Wu , Julian Michael , Alane Suhr , Peter West , Alexander Koller , Swabha Swayamdipta, Noah A. Smith , and Yejin Choi
    In Proceedings of EMNLP , 2023
  7. ACL
    Xuhui Zhou , Hao Zhu , Akhila Yerukola , Thomas Davidson , Jena D. Hwang , Swabha Swayamdipta, and Maarten Sap
    In Findings of ACL , 2023
  8. ACL
    Hanjie Chen , Faeze Brahman , Xiang Ren , Yangfeng Ji , Yejin Choi , and Swabha Swayamdipta
    In Proc. of ACL , 2023
  9. EMNLP
    Phillip Howard , Gadi Singer , Vasudev Lal , Yejin Choi , and Swabha Swayamdipta
    In Findings of EMNLP , 2022
  10. EMNLP
    Alisa Liu , Swabha Swayamdipta, Noah A. Smith , and Yejin Choi
    In Findings of EMNLP , 2022
  11. NAACL
    Sarah Wiegreffe , Jack Hessel , Swabha Swayamdipta, Mark Riedl , and Yejin Choi
    In Proc. of NAACL , 2022
  12. NAACL
    Maarten Sap , Swabha Swayamdipta, Laura Vianna , Xuhui Zhou , Yejin Choi , and Noah A. Smith
    In Proc. of NAACL , 2022
  13. ICML
    Kawin Ethayarajh , Yejin Choi , and Swabha Swayamdipta
    In Proc. of ICML , 2022
  14. NeurIPS
    Krishna Pillutla , Swabha Swayamdipta, Rowan Zellers , John Thickstun , Sean Wellecks , Yejin Choi , and Zaid Harchaoui
    In Proc. of NeurIPS , 2021
  15. ACL
    Alisa Liu , Maarten Sap , Ximing Lu , Swabha Swayamdipta, Chandra Bhagavatula , Noah A. Smith , and Yejin Choi
    In Proc. of ACL , 2021
  16. EACL
    Xuhui Zhou , Maarten Sap , Swabha Swayamdipta, Noah A. Smith , and Yejin Choi
    In Proc. of EACL , 2021
  17. EMNLP
    Swabha Swayamdipta, Roy Schwartz , Nicholas Lourie , Yizhong Wang , Hannaneh Hajishirzi , Noah A. Smith , and Yejin Choi
    In Proc. of EMNLP , 2020
  18. ACL
    Suchin Gururangan , Ana Marasović , Swabha Swayamdipta, Kyle Lo , Iz Beltagy , Doug Downey , and Noah A. Smith
    In Proc. of ACL , 2020
  19. ICML
    Ronan LeBras , Swabha Swayamdipta, Chandra Bhagavatula , Rowan Zellers , Matthew E. Peters , Ashish Sabharwal , and Yejin Choi
    In Proc. of ICML , 2020