Junior Fellows

Ajda Óvári Finished her Research Visit in California

January 05, 2024

Ajda Óvári, ASEF Junior Fellow 2021, has completed her 10-week research visit in California. She was working under the mentorship of Assistant Professor Gašper Beguš at his Speech and Computation Lab at University of California – Berkeley

Ajda, who is a certified speech and language therapist working with children with developmental speech and language impairments in England, was researching how large language models, such as ChatGPT or GPT- 4 could help speech and language therapists in their everyday clinical practice. She had investigated some possible ways that clinicians could utilize such AI-based tools, such as creating therapy materials. She also designed an experiment to test how accurately GPT-4 diagnoses types of aphasia based on a speech sample from a person with aphasia. This experiment is still ongoing and will hopefully give interesting results. The rest of the academic part of her visit was spent attending lectures at the university and a weekly linguistics forum where PhD students and academics share their research. 

Ajda, alongside Frenk Dragar, ASEF Junior Fellow 2023, was hosted by the very interesting Tony Hansen, who lives in close proximity to Berkeley campus. Tony is a retired climate scientist who worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and has invented a machine to measure air pollution, which is manufactured in his Slovenian company Aerosol. Tony showed Ajda around the Bay area, offered advice about the academic and tourist part of her visit, and hosted a monthly dinner for graduate students to provide social opportunities. He is happy to host future ASEF fellows, and Ajda highly recommends living in his spare student apartment to anyone. It will certainly make your visit more enjoyable and interesting!

When not on campus or chasing racoons with Tony, Ajda travelled around California on weekend and longer trips. She visited the Yosemite National Park with some linguistics PhD students from her department, Los Angeles and Santa Cruz with her family, Las Vegas and Grand Canyon with her husband, and O’ahu Island of Hawaii with her friend. All of these trips have been amazing and have further informed her of life in the US. She also got to experience the traditional American Thanksgiving, thanks to her ASEF mentor Gašper Beguš, a Slovenian society Christmas brunch, and an American Football match.

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