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Linguistics - Summer Internship - Spotify
United States (Boston)
Internship

The Spotify Voice NLU (Natural Language Understanding) team is hiring a Linguistics Summer Intern with strong technical skills. The Voice NLU team is a multi-functional agile team composed of ML engineers, NLP researchers, linguists, data scientists, data engineers, and backend engineers working together to build the next generation of language understanding technology for Spotify. We are enabling a more natural interaction paradigm, freeing people from the keyboard and the cognitive load of formulating written queries to drive their audio experience.

The ideal candidate will be passionate about learning and applying Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to enable all Spotify listeners to be expressive in how they ask to listen to audio content like music, podcasts, and more. This role will involve coming up with creative solutions to be able to identify and properly handle ambiguity in language, such as recognizing when contextual cues may have an effect on meaning. The ideal candidate will love diving into language data to uncover hidden patterns in speech and writing. Role will largely focus on the syntax and semantics, however a holistic approach taking the other theoretical linguistics areas (ie. phonetics, phonology, morphology, discourse and pragmatics) into account will be necessary.

What you'll do
• Collaborate with a cross-functional agile team spanning user research, design, data science, product management, and engineering to build new product features that advance our mission to connect artists and fans in personalized and relevant ways
• Develop NLP components: write rules, build grammars/FSTs, create annotation systems or mappings for the target language while taking cross-language variability into account, ensuring that solutions are not built on assumptions from any one language.
• Analyze NLP system performance to identify failure patterns and propose solutions to improve and expand linguistic coverage
Collaborate with Data Curators, Data Engineering, and NLP developers on linguistic data collection and development efforts.
• Through mentorship, collaborative teamwork, and individual projects, develop individually to learn and grow as a researcher, scientist, and/or engineer.

Who you are
• Currently enrolled in a theoretical linguistics or computational linguistics (or related) program at either the undergraduate or graduate level
• You have strong foundational knowledge and experience in these core areas of linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and discourse and pragmatics, and preferably also applied or theoretical experience with linguistic typology, computational linguistics, psycholinguistics, and/or linguistics field work.
• You have experience with analysis of language data. This experience could come from, but is not limited to, experience in a linguistics, psycholinguistics, psychology (or other related field) lab setting; experience working on research projects with professors; and/or from research done within linguistics coursework.
• Basic scripting or coding ability in at least one language (i.e. Python, Java, etc.) and general statistical knowledge, and preferably experience with data analysis (i.e. R, Matlab, Jupyter Notebooks, etc.) and familiarity with data querying tools (i.e. SQL).
• You have conversational or near-native fluency in at least one non-English language.
• As a creative problem solver, you’re able to form intuitions and explore them with data-driven and disciplined research with minimal to no guidance.
• You’re collaborative and comfortable working with people who come from diverse backgrounds and with diverse skill sets, and possess excellent communication, have strong organizational skills, and are very detail-oriented.
• (Nice to Have) Experience with ontology design, corpus linguistics, large-scale data acquisition, and/or language annotation for NLP purposes (ie. syntax and/or semantics annotation, semantic role annotation, co-reference annotation, NLP system performance evaluation, etc.).

Learn about life at Spotify: The Intern experience

This is your chance to help craft the way the world listens, learn more about what we do, how we do it - and why that matters. We’re looking for enthusiastic current students with a passion for audio experiences and an ambition to go far. This isn't just any internship, you’ll make an impact and play a real part in the success of Spotify, all over one unforgettable summer!

If that’s you, tell us who you are, what you care about, and where you want to go.

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