Associate Professor in the NLP group, Department of Information and Computing Sciences, Utrecht University.

Associate Professor (on leave), Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology, University of Malta.


About me

My research mostly focusses on the automatic generation of language from non-linguistic information (a.k.a. Natural Language Generation). One important aspect of this is how systems -- artificial or human -- learn meaningful relationships between language and the non-linguistic, especially the perceptual, world.

In my research, I rely on machine learning methods such as neural networks, but also on experimental psycholinguistic methods. Here are some of the topics I explore:

  • Data-to-text generation, that is, the automatic summarisation of non-linguistic information, in forms that are understandable by people;
  • The vision-language interface, especially image captioning and grounded inference in multimodal, neural models;
  • The production and generation of referring expressions, especially the question of what to include in object descriptions in visual scenes;
  • Evaluation, that is, how we can determine the quality of the outputs of NLP models (especially generation models).

Apart from these, another long-standing interest is the development of tools and resources for under-resourced languages. In this connection, I've worked quite a bit on NLP for Maltese.

Current and recent projects

Here are some recent and ongoing projects I'm working on.


Interactive Natural Language Technology for Explainable AI


Multilingual Financial Information News Summarisation


Multi3Generation: Multi-Task, Multilingual, Multimodal Language Generation


Maltese Automatic Speech Recognition


Maltese Language Resource Server


This is a more or less up-to-date list of publications. You can also find info from the external repos below:

Team members

Current and recent research staff and students working with me.

Marc Tanti (post-doc, University of Malta, 2020-present).

Michele Cafagna (PhD student, University of MAlta and Utrecht University, 2020-present).

Amanda Muscat (PhD student, University of Malta, 2019-present).

Juliette Faille (co-supervisor, PhD candidate, CNRS/LORIA, 2020-present).

Ettore Mariotti (co-supervisor, PhD candidate, University of Santiago de Compostela, 2020-present).

Carlos Hernandez Mena (post-doc, University of Malta, 2019-2021).


Drop me a line.

Rm 5.04 Buys Ballotgebouw
Princetonplein 5
3584 CC Utrecht

a {dot} gatt {at}