Department of Computer Science

Associate Professor Johannes Bjerva elected to the Young Academy

Associate Professor Johannes Bjerva elected to the Young Academy

Johannes Bjerva, Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science, has been elected to the Young Academy under the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. The aim of the academy, which includes some of Denmark's most talented young researchers, is to strengthen interdisciplinary research and to be a bridge builder between research and society.

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When the Young Academy gathers in September for a meeting in the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters at H.C. Andersens Boulevard in Copenhagen, eight newly elected members will turn up, including Associate Professor Johannes Bjerva from the Department of Computer Science at AAU. Together with Rasmus Munksgaard, Associate Professor from på the Department of Sociology and Social Work, he brings the number of AAU members from one to three, with Stine Linding Andersen, Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine, being a member since 2020. The election process included a total of 62 applicants.

For Johannes Bjerva, the membership of the Young Academy is first and foremost an opportunity to be in a community with other young researchers and to expand his network across scientific disciplines.

- I am looking forward to meeting talented young researchers from other scientific disciplines. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to get in contact with people within scientific fields that could be relevant in an interdisciplinary collaboration, and I am sure that the academy will be a great help in this respect, he says.

Language technology for smaller languages

Johannes Bjerva's research area is language technology, also known as Natural Language Processing (NLP). In his research, he primarily focuses on making the underlying language models available to smaller languages ​​and communities.

- Great methodological progress has been made recently within NLP and AI-based language models. But language models, with GPT-3 used by ChatGPT being the most well-known, require huge amounts of data that smaller language communities will never be able to provide. In my current research project, funded by the Carlsberg Foundation, we are therefore working to apply knowledge from linguistics about similarities and differences in the structure of large and small languages ​​respectively, so that data from the large languages ​​can also be used to improve the quality of language technologies for the small languages, he explains.

Interdisciplinary research projects

According to Johannes Bjerva, the great development within language models makes it even more relevant to undertake interdisciplinary research projects including these models:

- I think that in almost all research fields right now, people are working with ideas for interdisciplinary projects that involve language models. They have become so powerful that there is a basis for really good collaborations, where it is not only a matter of the language models being used to automate some processes within, for example, the healthcare domain, but that healthcare domain knowledge can be used to improve the models. So, the timing of joining an interdisciplinary community like the Young Academy right now is also particularly good.

Knowledge dissemination is important

The aim of the Young Academy is to strengthen basic research and interdisciplinary exchange and to be a bridge builder between science and society. In addition, the academy is a platform to give talented young researchers a public voice. As a member of the academy, you will sit on one or more of three permanent committees: the Research Policy Committee, the Dissemination Committee and the Collaboration Committee.

- The past six months with the whole debate about ChatGPT have really opened my eyes to how important it is to bring knowledge from the world of research into the public debate. So, without having settled on anything yet, I would say that the Dissemination Committee seems quite interesting, says Johannes Bjerva.


More information


  • Johannes Bjerva, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, / +45 2264 1109
  • Stig Andersen, Communications Officer, Department of Computer Science, / +45 4019 7682 

Department of Computer Science, Aalborg University

Selma Lagerlöfs Vej 300  ・ 9220 Aalborg East, Denmark 
Telephone: +45 9940 9940  ・ Mail:

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