Kaisla Kajava

PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki, I work with multilingual news flow of crises and conflicts, at a crossroads between evaluating Natural Language Processing tools and understanding the phenomena that drive news coverage of particular events. Starting from summer 2021, I’ll also be working on Nitin Sawhney’s project on crisis narratives.

One of my main interests is language. Some of the things I’ve studied are political and religious discourse with the aim of uncovering some of the rhetoric used by religious agents, and possible faith-political purposes behind their linguistic modus operandi, and, after a steady gyration into amateur programming, in the field of Language Technology, I’ve worked with Sentiment Analysis and other text classification tasks.

In sum, my current work co-joins the areas of language, technology, and the politics of language. Given current massive news inflow, there are incentives to monitor which topics are salient in the media, how those topics are presented, who is presenting them, and for what ends. I believe these kinds of efforts are best achieved with widely interdisciplinary teamwork. One of the tasks of research teams is to respond to social changes dynamically, with research which both serves and contests those changes.

Other things I do include bouldering, reading, casual swimming (swimming with no particular technique and debatable athletic benefit), following news sites in different languages, and generating dark ambient with neural nets.

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