Ulla Petti

PhD Candidate in Computation, Cognition and Language at University of Cambridge

I have recently defended my PhD thesis at the Language Technology Lab at the University of Cambridge. I was supervised by professor Anna Korhonen and doctor Simon Baker. My research focuses on the automatic detection of the signs of Alzheimer's disease from language and speech. I am interested in improving the methods of data collection and analysis, and in the ethical considerations that arise in speech- and AI-based disease detection.


Petti, U., & Korhonen, A. (2024, May). LoSST-AD: A Longitudinal Corpus for Tracking Alzheimer’s Disease Related Changes in Spontaneous Speech. In Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024) (pp. 10813-10821).


Petti, U., Baker, S., Korhonen, A., & Robin, J. (2023). How much speech data is needed for tracking language change in Alzheimer’s disease? A comparison of random length, 5-minute and 1-minute spontaneous speech samples.


Petti, U., Nyrup, R., Skopek, J. M., & Korhonen, A. (2023, June). Ethical considerations in the early detection of Alzheimer's disease using speech and AI. In Proceedings of the 2023 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (pp. 1062-1075).


Petti, U., Baker, S., Korhonen, A., & Robin, J. (2023). The Generalizability of Longitudinal Changes in Speech Before Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, (Preprint), 1-18.


Petti, U., Baker, S., & Korhonen, A. (2020). A systematic literature review of automatic Alzheimer’s disease detection from speech and language. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 27(11), 1784-1797.


Vulić, I., Baker, S., Ponti, E. M., Petti, U., Leviant, I., Wing, K., ... & Korhonen, A. (2020). Multi-simlex: A large-scale evaluation of multilingual and crosslingual lexical semantic similarity. Computational Linguistics, 46(4), 847-897.




2024 PhD in Computation, Cognition and Language. University of Cambridge, Trinity College

2019 MPhil in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (Distinction). University of Cambridge, Trinity College

2018 BA in English Language and Linguistics (First Class Honours). King’s College London


2020-present Supervising undergraduate course Computational Linguistics. University of Cambridge

2019-2021 Supervising undergraduate course Sounds and Words. University of Cambridge

2020-2021 Leading a preparation course for National Linguistics Olympiad. Hugo Treffner Gymnasium

2015-present Access and Outreach projects. Various high schools in the UK and Estonia

Other activities and roles

2024 Co-organiser of CHIA Conference "AI for Good"

2024 Scientific Programme Committee @ RaPID-5 LREC-Coling 2024

2024 Member of Cambridge University Real Tennis Club Committee

2023-present Co-founder of the Centre for Human-Inspired AI (CHIA) Early Career Community (ECC)

2023-present Co-chair of the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) Methodological Special Interest Group (MSIG) "Untold Stories: Navigating Interdisciplinarity in Health Research" (Panels chaired: Navigating the Ethics of Technology in Health Research)

2022-2023 W1 Captain at Cambridge University Real Tennis Club (CURTC)

2020-2021 Student Co-President at Cambridge University Real Tennis Club (CURTC), Captain of Trinity College Real Tennis Club

2019-2021 Women's Officer at Trinity College BA Committee (Graduate Student Union), Social Officer at Language Technology Lab

2016-2018 Head Coach at Chelsea Tennis School


2021 Research intern at Winterlight Labs, Toronto, Canada. Project: Tracking longitudinal change in speech in Alzheimer's disease

2019 Research intern at the University of Cambridge Language Technology Lab. Project: Multisimlex

2018 Research intern at King’s College London Language and Cognition Lab. Project: Eye-tracking experiment

2016 Research intern at Department of Computational Linguistics, University of Tartu. Project: Expanding Estonian WordNet

FUNDS and awards

2022, 2020, 2019, 2018 Estonian Culture Stipend

2020 Luminor Bank Scholarship

2019-2022 UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Funding for a PhD Project on Automatic Alzheimer's Disease detection

2018 King's English Language and Linguistics Award (for graduating top of the course), Ambassador Riivo Sinijärv Award, Estonian Students' Fund in US (ESFUSA) Award, Harald Raudsepp Award, Estonian Culture Capital Fund

2016 Estonian Students' Fund in the US (ESFUSA) Award 

2015 Young Scholar's Grant

Recent talks and presentations

May 2024 "LoSST-AD: A Longitudinal Corpus for Tracking Alzheimer’s Disease Related Changes in Spontaneous Speech" LREC-Coling 2024 Torino, Italy

June 2023 "Ethical considerations in the early detection of Alzheimer's disease using speech and AI" FAccT 2023 Chicago, US

April 2023 "Speech-based Alzheimer's disease detection. Why? How? For whom?" Estonian Applied Linguistics Association Spring Conference 2023, Tallinn, Estonia. Link (in Estonian)

July 2021 "Phonetics and phonology, and what they can tell us about the speaker's health" International Linguistics Olympiad Preparation Camp, University of Tartu

March 2021 "Tracking longitudinal change in speech in Alzheimer's disease" CamPAL (Cambridge Processing and Acquisition of Language)

September 2020 "Detecting signs of Alzheimer's disease in speech and language" TÜLing (Tartu University Linguistics Seminar)


Alzheimer's Research & Therapy

Applied Acoustics

Health Informatics Journal


ump20 AT cam.ac.uk

Language Technology Lab

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics

Faculty of English Building

9 West Road

Cambridge CB3 9DB, UK