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Picture of Lara with purple asymmetric hair, dangly earrings, and a blue/maroon striped dress

Lara J. Martin, PhD

Assistant Professor at the
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Human-Centered AI, Applied NLP, Neurosymbolic Methods, Automated Story Generation, AAC, Dungeons and Dragons AI


How to say Lara
I make systems that improve how people talk with computers and to each other through computers. Most of my career so far has been teaching computers how to tell stories (also known as automated story generation) and working my way towards an AI Dungeon Master. I am also currently working on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and speech technologies.
My pronouns are she/they.

I put a lot of care into this website, so please let me know if something is inaccessible to you or broken in general.


In Person
Information Technology and Engineering (ITE) Building, Room 216
1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250

Joining the Language, Aid, and Representation AI Lab

(updated 1/9/2024)
What NOT to do:
  • Please do not call me Mam/Ma'am. It does not match my gender identity and makes me very uncomfortable. Stick to Doctor/Dr. Martin, Professor/Prof. Martin, or even just Lara.
  • I'm not interested in your TOEFL/GRE scores or your past grades. They don't tell me much about how you will do with research. If you do want to tell me about your education, let me know if you've taken any classes that might be relevant to the research I do (e.g., an AI or NLP course).
What to do:
For current UMBC Masters/Undergrads:
I've been getting a lot more interest than I can support. I'd like to get to know students before working with them. To give everyone an equal chance, I will get to know students through the classes that I teach. If you'd like to work with me, please enroll in whatever class I'm teaching. If you can't get into the class, I will be holding open office hours (see the Contact section above) or you can request to join my weekly lab meeting, which is currently basically a reading group.

For prospective PhD students:
The application deadline for the 2024-2025 school year has passed.

Because I am new faculty, I currently do not have funding for undergraduate or masters students. (I do have funding for PhD students. See above.)
Your time and skills are valuable; you should never work for free. There are, however, some options for times when I don't have adequate funding for you. List based off of Dr. Tejas Gokhale's.



About Me

My research interests include:
human-AI communication/collaboration
  • computational creativity
  • interactive narrative
  • narrative generation & understanding
  • dialog systems & conversational agents
  • cognitive systems
and computer-mediated human-human communication
I work from a blend of research and methods from various fields:
  • natural language processing/language technologies,
  • linguistics,
  • human-computer interaction,
  • cognitive science,
  • and artifical intelligence.

Some of my non-research passions include AI equity, science communication, and educating children about computer science and technology — especially getting young girls and other minorities in tech interested in tech.

Check out my CV for more information.

Third-Person Bio

Dr. Lara J. Martin (she/they) is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the CSEE department, researching human-centered artificial intelligence with a focus on natural language processing applications. They have worked in the areas of automated story generation, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tools, AI for tabletop roleplaying games, speech processing, and affective computing—publishing in top-tier conferences such as AAAI, ACL, EMNLP, and IJCAI. They have also been featured in Wired and BBC Science Focus magazine.
Previously, Dr. Martin was a 2020 Computing Innovation Fellow (CIFellow) postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania working with Dr. Chris Callison-Burch. She earned her PhD in Human-Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she worked with Dr. Mark Riedl. She also has a MS in Language Technologies from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in Computer Science & Linguistics from Rutgers University—New Brunswick.


Select Publications

Publications have moved to my lab page.



I have a teaching certificate from Georgia Tech, Summer 2018.

CMSC 473/673 Natural Language Processing
Spring 2024
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
CMSC 671 Principles of Artificial Intelligence
Fall 2023
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
CIS 700 Interactive Fiction and Text Generation
Spring 2022
University of Pennsylvania
Co-taught with Dr. Chris Callison-Burch
CS 3790 Introduction to Cognitive Science
Summer 2018
Georgia Institute of Technology


Select Media

Hallucinating ChatGPT finds a role playing Dungeons & Dragons by Thomas Claburn for The Register.
Aug 19, 2023.

Lara Martin: "How Can I get a system to tell a story about anything I want?" by Masoud Golsorkhi for TANK Magazine, Issue 88 (Narrative).
Autumn 2021.

Lara Martin on teaching AI to tell stories by Amy Barrett for Science Focus Podcast.
Mar 15, 2021.

Alexa, tell me a story by Amy Barrett for Science Focus Magazine.
Feb 17, 2021.

Forget Chess—the Real Challenge Is Teaching AI to Play D&D by Will Knight for Wired.
Feb 28, 2020.


Recorded Talks

9/11/2020 - Georgia Tech's NLP Seminar Series

5/5/2022 - USC's Natural Language Seminar


Latest Blog


ChatGPT will not replace writers...unless we let it
What you should and shouldn't be concerned about when it comes to your writing job. · 4 minute read

It looks like the Writers Guild (the union for people who write movies and TV...

Read More


No, LaMDA Isn't Sentient
I explain at a high level why LaMDA can't be sentient. · 5 minute read

[Expanded from a Facebook post of mine, originally posted June 14, 2022.] You might have...

Read More

Fun Facts

Random Stuff