Jesse standing in front of a desert landscape at Caral
 

Hi there! I'm Jesse Dunietz, an AI researcher and science communication expert now working in tech policy.

I work to magnify the positive impacts of STEM research and knowledge, especially in computer science.

 

Hi there! I'm Jesse Dunietz, an AI researcher and science communication expert now working in tech policy.

I work to magnify the positive impacts of STEM research and knowledge, especially in computer science.

Who's this Jesse fellow?

Current employment

 

U.S. Department of State

I am a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the State Department's Office of Internet Freedom and Business & Human Rights.

I help the Department work with governments and companies to ensure that AI and other emerging digital technologies are used in ways that strengthen human rights around the world.

 

Volunteering

Climate Change AI (CCAI)

CCAI facilitates impactful work at the intersection of AI and climate change.

I run the organization's blog and help with other media and public relations work.

International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD)

ICAAD is a human rights NGO.

I help the organization think through how human rights work and AI/data science interact.

Outside of work, I ride my bike a lot.

And as many friends can attest, I am easily distracted by birds.

Past lives: How'd he end up doing all that?

In the past, I've worn three main hats:

AI Researcher

At Elemental Cognition, I defined metrics for the company's foundational AI research, translated that research into real-world applications, and built up the company's public presence.

As Google intern, I built machine learning models to identify central topics of and high-quality responses to articles and pages.

At Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), I built data resources and automated systems for processing language about cause and effect.

Science Communication Trainer

At the MIT Communication Lab, I trained STEM graduate students to coach their peers in scientific communication.

At CMU, I co-founded and led the Public Communication for Researchers program.

I have also designed and led scicomm trainings for many other audiences.

Science Writer

I wrote pieces that helped thousands of people grasp computer science and physics ideas underlying current and future technologies.

As a freelancer and a fellow at Securing America's Future Energy (an energy think tank), I wrote for outlets including Undark, Popular Mechanics, Motherboard, Nautilus, and the SciShow and It's Okay To Be Smart YouTube channels.

As a AAAS Mass Media Fellow, I spent a summer writing for Scientific American.

In addition, I have worked or interned at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, NASA/Johns Hopkins APL, and Tiverias Apps (creator of the GPush app).

View my full resume

What can he do for me?

I love to put my expertise to work to help others, both in computer science and in communication!

Services I offer include:

Consulting on AI

Drawing on my personal experience with AI research, I provide high-level insights about how today's AI tools work and what they are and aren't good for. I specialize in making this knowledge accessible and actionable for non-technical professionals.

Past beneficiaries have included Mad*Pow and ICAAD.

Science Writing

I may continue to write pieces that shed light on key ideas in computer science, math, and physics. Generally I find my stories myself, but do reach out if there's a story you think I'd like to tell.

This does not include press releases. Please do not send me press releases. I do not write stories about products or even generally about individual studies.

Science Communication Workshops

I help scientists and engineers become better communicators with each other, the media, and the general public. I've trained graduate students at MIT and Carnegie Mellon, CMU alumni, Botany in Action graduate fellows, AAAS Annual Meeting attendees, and even CMU's computer science faculty.

Possible topics include any aspect of communicating about STEM. Example titles: How to be a Science Blogger, Talking to the Media, Crafting Explanatory Metaphors, and Becoming a PowerPoint Wizard.

Workshops are highly interactive and extensively customized for each audience.

I'm always on the lookout for interesting ways to be useful, whether or not they fit into the buckets above. If you've got a need, opportunity, or idea you think might be up my alley, please do reach out!

NOTE: Given my current role with the State Department, I may have to decline some opportunities I'd be excited about.

Get in touch

What's he done in AI and NLP?

Industry Research

At Elemental Cognition

I developed rigorous evaluations for machine reading comprehension systems. Some of the resulting ideas were written up in a 2020 research paper.

I also implemented extensive logic rules for a travel-oriented demonstration application of the company's automated reasoning tools.

During my two internships at Google

I developed models for rating entities' centrality within a document. Published in a 2014 EACL paper.

I also explored techniques for identifying high-quality responses to controversial Internet articles.

Ph.D. Work

As a Ph.D. student, I studied methods for extracting structured semantic representations from natural-language text. I looked for ways to incorporate linguistic insights into natural language technologies, most notably the principles of Construction Grammar.

I developed an annotation scheme and associated corpus called BECAUSE, which annotated the cause-and-effect relations stated by a text. The scheme was designed to represent causal relations expressed by nearly any linguistic construction, not just discrete words and phrases.

I also developed two systems for automatically extracting and classifying causal relations: Causeway, a tagger involving learned lexico-syntactic patterns and feature-engineered classifiers, and DeepCx, a neural transition-based tagger.


Publications

Check Google Scholar for a complete and up-to-date list of my publications.

  • Dunietz, Jesse, Gregory Burnham, Akash Bharadwaj, Jennifer Chu-Carroll, Owen Rambow, David Ferrucci." To Test Machine Comprehension, Start by Defining Comprehension." ACL 2020. PDF Presentation
  • Dunietz, Jesse, Lori Levin, and Jaime Carbonell. "DeepCx: A transition-based approach for shallow semantic parsing with complex constructional triggers." EMNLP 2018. PDF Slides
  • Thesis: Dunietz, Jesse. Annotating and Automatically Tagging Constructions of Causal Language (2018). Ph.D. thesis, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. PDF Slides
  • Dunietz, Jesse, Lori Levin, and Jaime Carbonell. "The BECauSE Corpus 2.0: Annotating Causality and Overlapping Relations." LAW XI – The 11th Linguistic Annotation Workshop (2017). PDF Slides
  • Dunietz, Jesse, Lori Levin, and Jaime Carbonell. "Automatically Tagging Constructions of Causation and Their Slot-Fillers." Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics (2017). PDF Slides
  • Dunietz, Jesse, Lori Levin, and Jaime Carbonell. "Annotating Causal Language Using Corpus Lexicography of Constructions." Proceedings of LAW IX – The 9th Linguistic Annotation Workshop (2015). PDF Slides
  • Dunietz, Jesse, and Dan Gillick. "A New Entity Salience Task with Millions of Training Examples." EACL 2014. PDF
  • Dunietz, Jesse, Lori Levin, and Jaime Carbonell. "The Effects of Lexical Resource Quality on Preference Violation Detection." ACL 2013. PDF Slides

Non-Archival Publications

  • Dunietz, Jesse, Lori Levin, and Miriam R. L. Petruck. "Construction Detection in a Conventional NLP Pipeline." AAAI Spring Symposium Technical Report SS-17-02: Computational Construction Grammar and Natural Language Understanding (2017). PDF Slides
  • Dunietz, Jesse. "PyDecay/GraphPhys: A Unified Language and Storage System for Particle Decay Process Descriptions." Accepted for publication in DOE Journal of Undergraduate Research, Vol. XI (canceled for funding reasons). Presented as a student poster at the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting. PDF Poster

What's all this about "science communication?"

My Scicomm Story

As a wandering first-year Ph.D. student, I attended a talk at the Carnegie Science Center by John Radzilowicz about the so-called "war on science." John kept emphasizing that scientists needed to do better as accessible and relatable public communicators. In the Q&A, another grad student said he'd love to—if only someone would teach him how! That was the moment the Public Communication for Researchers (PCR) program at Carnegie Mellon was born.

My fellow CMU grad students Ardon Shorr and Adona Iosif joined me in building the training program we wished we'd had access to ourselves. We assembled hands-on workshops with communication experts, practice opportunities, and a supportive community of interested students. We started a group blog and hosted two Story Collider shows. We also pushed for university-run programming of the sort we were offering.

In the process, we became thoroughly enmeshed in the science communication community.

Scicomm Training Work

I have developed, organized, and led science communication trainings for audiences including:

  • The MIT Communication Lab (trainings for peer communication coaches)
  • The national ComSciCon conference for graduate students (conference activities)
  • CMU computer science faculty (public communication & media workshops)
  • The CMU Alumni Association (webinars)
  • The AAAS Annual Meeting (conference sessions)
  • The University of Pittsburgh's iSchool Inclusion Institute (research presentation workshops)
  • Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens' botany fellows (science blogging workshop)

Get in touch about scicomm training

Science Writing

Starting in graduate school, I found a niche writing about highly technical topics. Some of my writing experiences:

AAAS Mass Media Fellow (2017)
I wrote science news stories, mostly on technology and physics.
Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE)
SAFE, an energy policy think tank, sponsored me to write about autonomous vehicles.
Freelance
I freelanced for several years, largely for YouTube outlets like SciShow and It's Okay To Be Smart.
Elemental Cognition
I helped craft the company's white papers, blog posts, social media, and technical papers.

Check out my full writing portfolio

Contact

Is there something you'd like to chat about? Something I can help you with?

Please don't hesitate to get in touch!

Drop me a note