Megh Vipul Thakkar Is Awarded the Eighth Antidote Scholarship in Natural Language Processing

April 16, 2024 Press releases

Druide informatique is pleased to announce that the eighth Antidote Scholarship in Natural Language Processing (NLP) has been awarded to Megh Vipul Thakkar, a master’s student working under the supervision of Professor Sarath Chandar at Polytechnique Montréal and Mila—Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute. Totaling $20,000, the Antidote Scholarship in NLP is endowed by the Druide Fund for Research in Text Analysis, created through a donation from Druide informatique to Université de Montréal.

Mr. Thakkar’s work focuses on developing large language models (LLM), specifically in a multi-agent framework, to build more reliable, benign and impartial virtual assistants. He is committed to using resource-efficient training techniques to make his research accessible to as many people as possible. Prior to pursuing his master’s degree, he completed a Google Research residency in India and worked as a research assistant at the NTU-Alibaba Joint Research Laboratory in Singapore.

The Antidote Scholarship in NLP is awarded each year to a student in Université de Montréal’s Department of Computer Science and Operations Research (DIRO) whose work is affiliated with Mila. The scholarship comes from the one-million-dollar Druide Fund for Research in Text Analysis, which was established to celebrate both Antidote’s 20th anniversary and DIRO’s 50th anniversary.

Launched in 1996, Antidote was a trailblazer in integrating artificial intelligence into a software application. Its corrector, guides and dictionaries have since benefited from more than 25 years of technological and linguistic development. Today, over a million people use Antidote both in English and French, and Druide continues to diligently develop the software. In fact, Druide recently released its first generative reformulation engine based on an LLM as a new feature in Antidote Web.

Druide informatique has been specializing in artificial intelligence and computational linguistics since 1993. The company produces and markets Antidote, the most comprehensive writing assistance software available for English and French, as well as Typing Pal, the renowned typing tutorial application. In addition to its software, Druide also publishes French-language literature and reference works through its subsidiary, Éditions Druide.

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