Dr Judith Bishop awarded the 2024 Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellowship

Dr Judith Bishop has been appointed as the Tracey Banivanua Mar (TBM) Fellow for 2024.

Dr Judith Bishop has been appointed as the Tracey Banivanua Mar (TBM) Fellow for 2024.

Dr Judith Bishop comes to this Fellowship with a PhD in Linguistics and over 17 years of industry experience within AI technologies as a linguist and Director of Appen. In her role at Appen, she worked with more than 100 linguists and language experts with the purpose of improving human-centred AI technology for diverse populations, through inclusive AI and future growth technologies.

The Tracey Banivanua Mar (TBM) Fellowship was established in 2018 as part of the SAGE Athena Swan initiative and is a part-time or full-time research-only position for up to three years. The Fellowshop enables eligible researchers to develop or re-establish their careers where they have been interrupted or delayed by childbearing, child rearing or other care giving duties. The fellowship is named in honour of Tracey Banivanua Mar, a much-esteemed member of the Department of Archaeology and History who sadly passed away in 2017, cutting short a stellar academic career.

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Industry Engagement Professor Susan Dodds said that the TBM Fellowship was an important way that La Trobe supported staff with caring responsibilities.

“This Fellowship provides the opportunity for staff whose careers have been impacted by significant caring duties to have time to focus on important research, so as to build their career,” Professor Dodds said.

“Judith’s work is exciting and important as uses her expertise in linguistics to explore the sociocultural impacts and training of AI, a technology that is becoming and increasing part of how we engage and has implications for many facets of life. I extend my congratulations to her for this well deserved recognition.”

Dr Bishop is a creative writer and published author of two award-winning collections of poetry, Event (2007) and Interval (2018), as well asthree poetry chapbooks. Alongside this, she has held various positions at La Trobe within strategic campaign operations and philanthropic proposal writing in the Alumni and Advancement team.

Dr Bishop said she was ecstatic to receive this Fellowship and spoke about her background as a linguist within AI technologies, and how she hopes to merge her industry experience into her academic research Fellowship role.

“It means the world to me. It has enabled me to move across from an industry applied product research role back into an academic research role, where I can hopefully bring together my knowledge and experience from industry to produce impactful research work in an academic setting.”

Dr Bishop will be commencing her Fellowship {insert date here} within the Department of Languages and Cultures and spoke to the support this Fellowship offers to women researchers with caring responsibilities.

“There is always that confluence of caring responsibilities and other demands on time that is always there for a woman researcher who has a family they are caring for and that is an important part that the Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellowship addresses: that difficulty sometimes for a woman researcher to move forward in her career, when she has competing demands on her time.”

With this Fellowship, Dr Bishop intends to apply her strong human-centric perspective on AI, with her unique set of research skills on language and sociocultural training of AI models. Working with a team of researchers, Judith hopes to better understand the benefits and harms of AI technologies and their inclusivity for culturally and linguistically diverse populations. She also has a keen interest in generative AI technology and the impact these have on creative practice.

“This Fellowship will allow me to gather likeminded researchers around me, investigating the impacts, biases and benefits of those technologies for diverse populations.” Dr Judith Bishop commented.

If you are interested in learning more about the Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellowship you can find out more information online, or alternatively contact athenaswan@latrobe.edu.au for further information.