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Phonetics Lab Alumnus Masa Gibson creates new music video for the WNYC Public Song Project

Phonetics Lab Alumnus Dr. Masa Gibson recently created a new music video titled "Glint of Green" for the 2023 WNYC Public Song Project.  The Project explores the creative use of songs, books, and movies that have entered the US public domain.


Masa's composition is an original song for voice and glass bottles, composed and performed by Masa where they sing the poem "Young Witches" by Marian Thanhouser (1927). Masa's composition is unique in that the musical accompaniment is performed exclusively on glass bottles, images of which are featured in this video. 


Masa's "Glint of Green" was one of 80 compositions submitted the Public Song Project, and it showcases Masa's broad talents in singing, acting, music composition, and film production, which are spare-time pursuits that complement their speech synthesis R&D for Synfonica LLC.  


Masa commented that: "My interest/knowledge in acoustics definitely played a hand in the project", and they had to review their knowledge of Helmholtz resonators before using the bottles as musical instruments.



12th April 2023

Phonetics Lab Alumnus Linda Heimisdottir meets with Iceland's president

Phonetics Lab alumnus Dr. Linda Heimisdottir (left, in the flowered dress) recently met with the Iceland President HE Guðni Th. Jóhannesson (center)  as part of a new project to use OpenAI's GPT-4 to preserve the Icelandic language. 


This project - initiated during a visit by President Jóhannesson and a language technology delegation to Open AIs headquarters last spring -  is a partnership between the Icelandic government, Icelandic NLP/AI company Miðeind, and OpenAI, where Miðeind is working with OpenAI to train and fine-tune GPT-4 on Icelandic.  Representatives of OpenAI (including Anna Makanju, their Head of Public Policy) participated in the meeting, and they also attended a local symposium about AI and low-resource languages. 


The partnership was envisioned not only as a way to boost GPT-4’s ability to service a new corner of the world, but also as a step towards creating resources that could help preserve other low-resource languages. 

7th April 2023

Francesco Burroni accepts Postdoctoral Fellow position on the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Phonetics Lab alumnus Francesco Burroni accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Phonetics and Speech Processing (IPS) at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He will be working with Prof. James Kirby, Professor of Spoken Language Processing.

He will be joining the department in March 2023, after having successfully defended his dissertation in November 2022.

6th February 2023

Phonetics Lab Alumnus Becky Butler helps secure $900,000 grant for UNC Chapel Hill's Southeast Asian studies

Phonetics Lab alumnus Dr. Becky Butler (PhD 2014) and an interdisciplinary team of UNC researchers have won a $900,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for “Bringing Southeast Asia Home,” an initiative that will expand the study of Southeast Asia and its languages at UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC System. The grant proposal was led by principal investigator Christian Lentz (Department of Geography), Becky Butler (Department of Linguistics, Carolina Asia Center), Angel Hsu (Department of Public Policy), and Noah Kittner (Gillings School of Global Public Health).

More coverage of the grant can be found here:


13th January 2023