Marco Baroni received a PhD in Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles, in the year 2000. After several experiences in research and industry, he joined the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences of the University of Trento, where he became associate professor in 2013. In 2016, Marco joined the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research team. In 2019, he became ICREA research professor, affiliated with the Linguistics Department of Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. Marco's work in the areas of multimodal and compositional distributed semantics has received widespread recognition, including a Google Research Award, an ERC Starting Grant, and the ICAI-JAIR best paper prize and the ACL test of time award. Marco's current research focuses on a better understanding of artificial neural networks, focusing in particular on what they can teach us about human language acquisition and processing.
Marco is interested in human language and how it is acquired. To gain insights into these questions, he develops and studies computational systems, in particular deep neural networks, that acquire aspects of language from realistic input data. By analyzing the inner dynamics and external behaviour of these systems, we can gain insights into questions such as: how much linguistic knowledge is already implicitly present in input distributions, what are the minimal priors necessary for learning, what is the space of solutions to the communication challenges that led to the evolution of language, and so on. The ultimate goal of Marco's research is to bring about a more precise characterization of what is unique about the human language faculty.