Welcome to Northern Frontier, our video interview series that showcases in-depth and engaging conversations with some of the brightest academic minds in AI research today.

For our second conversation, we met up with Prof. Jackie Cheung, assistant professor of computer science at McGill University and Borealis AI’s academic advisor for our soon-to-open Montreal lab. Jackie is an expert in natural language processing, which is a catchall term for the intersection between computer systems and natural language. He’s co-director of McGill’s Reasoning and Learning Lab, where they’re focused on probabilistic systems.

We checked in with him to see what’s happening in his field, what open problems he’s particularly passionate about these days, and what sorts of misconceptions can spring up in a field like NLP where so many people seem to be focused. Jackie also shared his beliefs on why having the right definition for a problem is more important than solving an ill-defined problem itself.