Ulla Petti

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

I'm a final year PhD student at the Language Technology Lab at the University of Cambridge, supervised by professor Anna Korhonen and doctor Simon Baker. My research focuses on the automatic detection of the signs of dementia from language and speech. I am interested in improving the methods of data collection and analysis, and in the ethical aspects of the research.


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.




2019-present PhD in Computation, Cognition and Language. University of Cambridge, Trinity College

2018-2019 MPhil in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (Distinction). University of Cambridge, Trinity College

2015-2018 BA in English Language and Linguistics (First Class Honours). King’s College London


2021 Research intern at Winterlight Labs. 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 University of Tartu department of Computational Linguistics. Project: Estonian WordNet


2020-2023 Supervising undergraduate course Computational Linguistics. University of Cambridge

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

2020-2021 Preparation for Linguistics Olympiad. Hugo Treffner Gymnasium

2015-present Access and outreach projects. Various high schools in England and Estonia

Other activities and roles

2022-2023 W1 Captain of 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

FUNDS and awards

2022 Estonian Culture Award

2020 Estonian Culture Award, Luminor Bank Scholarship

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

2019 Estonian Culture Award

2018 King's English Language and Linguistics Award (for graduating first in the class), Ambassador Riivo Sinijärv Award, Estonian Culture 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

April 2023 "Speech-based Alzheimer's disease detection. Why? How? For whom?" Estonian Applied Linguistics Association Spring Conference 2023

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