Lara J. Martin, PhD

postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania

How to say Lara: /'lɑɹ.ə/

I teach computers how to tell stories (also known as automated story generation).
More generally, I do with a focus on natural language. I look at how humans communicate and design/create artificially intelligent agents to leverage that.
Professionally interested in cognition and computational creativity; personally interested in AI equity and science communication.
My pronouns are /.

(updated 8/12/21)

Lara's picture



  • Online

  • In Person

    Moore School Building, Room 103 (SIG Lab)
    200 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia PA, 19104
  • Research



  • LJ Martin. Neurosymbolic Automated Story Generation, Thesis, Georgia Institute of Technology. ()


  • , , , Z Luo, W Ma, LJ Martin, and . Story Realization: Expanding Plot Events into Sentences, The Thirty-Fourth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-20), New York, NY. (, , , , )


  • *, *, LJ Martin, A Mehta, , and . Controllable Neural Story Plot Generation via Reinforcement Learning, Twenty-Eighth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-19), Macao, China. (, , , )

    *denotes equal contribution

  • , , , Z Luo, W Ma, LJ Martin, and . Guided Neural Language Generation for Automated Storytelling, The Second Workshop of Storytelling (StoryNLP) at ACL 2019, Florence, Italy. (, )


  • LJ Martin, , and . Dungeons and DQNs: Toward Reinforcement Learning Agents that Play Tabletop Roleplaying Games, AAAI Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies (INT), Edmonton, AB, Canada. (, )
  • LJ Martin, , , , S Singh, , and . Event Representations for Automated Story Generation with Deep Neural Nets, Thirty-Second AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-18), New Orleans, LA. (, , , )


  • LJ Martin, , , S Singh, , , , A Mehta, R Arora, , C Purdy, and . Improvisational Storytelling Agents, NeurIPS 2017 Workshop on Machine Learning for Creativity and Design, Long Beach, CA. (, )
  • LJ Martin, , , S Singh, , and . Event Representations for Automated Story Generation with Deep Neural Nets, KDD 2017 Workshop on Machine Learning for Creativity, Halifax, NS, Canada. (, )


  • LJ Martin, , and . Improvisational Computational Storytelling in Open Worlds, Ninth International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS 2016) / INT 9, Los Angeles, CA. ()


  • LJ Martin, , , V Robison, and . Utterance Classification in Speech-to-Speech Translation for Zero-Resource Languages in the Hospital Administration Domain, 2015 IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop (ASRU 2015), Scottsdale, AZ. ()


  • L Martin, , F Metze, and . A Methodology for Using Crowdsourced Data to Measure Uncertainty in Natural Speech. 2014 IEEE Spoken Language Technology Workshop (SLT 2014), South Lake Tahoe, NV. ()
  • , , and L Martin. Identifying Student Leaders from MOOC Discussion Forums through Language Influence. EMNLP 2014 Workshop on Analysis of Large Scale Social Interaction in MOOCs, Doha, Qatar. ()
  • , S Burger, L Martin, F Metze, T Kishi, K Hashimoto, S Sessa, M Zecca, and A Takanishi. A multisensory non-invasive system for laughter analysis. 36th Annual International IEEE EMBS Conference, Chicago, IL. ()
  • , , LJ Martin, F Metze, and . Applause: A Learning Tool for Low-Resource Languages. Designing Speech and Language Interactions Workshop (CHI 2014), Toronto, Canada. ()
  • S Yu, L Jiang, Z Mao, X Chang, X Du, C Gan, Z Lan, Z Xu, X Li, Y Cai, A Kumar, Y Miao, L Martin, , S Xu, H Li, M Lin, Z Ma, Y Yang, D Meng, S Shan, PD Sahin, S Burger, F Metze, R Singh, B Raj, T Mitamura, R Stern, and A Hauptmann. Informedia@ TRECVID 2014 MED and MER. TrecVID 2014, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL. ()

Brief Bio

My research interests include:
  • computational creativity,
  • interactive narrative and narrative generation & understanding,
  • prosody & emotion (affective computing),
  • dialog & conversational agents,
  • and cognitive systems.

I am currently a at the University of Pennsylvania, working with .

I earned my PhD in in the at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I worked with in the , doing automated story generation.

I have a and have taught as instructor of record for an Intro to Cognitive Science class.

I have a Masters in Language Technologies from in their School of Computer Science. I received my BS in Computer Science and Linguistics from Rutgers University — New Brunswick.

One of my non-research passions is in educating children about computer science and technology — especially getting young girls and other minorities in tech interested, and I try to find as many local outreach opportunities as I can.

I enjoy playing computer games and board games, petting dogs, hiking, SCUBA diving, playing piano and accordion, collecting accents, and doing random craft projects. And I'm married to .

Recorded Talk(s)

Select Media

  • by Amy Barrett for Science Focus Podcast. March 15, 2021.
  • by Amy Barrett in Science Focus Magazine. Feb 17, 2021.
  • by Will Knight in Wired. Feb 28, 2020.

Random Side Projects

  • I have been collecting a list of American English for my foriegn friends. had generously made it into a , which has since been removed. :c
  • I created a machine translation system with Vivian Robison for translating the Bible from .
  • I am a downloadable voice in the speech synthesis tool (voice " ")
  • I presented at (a fake conference) on " " with .