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VideosSee AI2’s full collection of videos on our YouTube channel.

  • June 2, 2018

    Chaitanya Malaviya

    Morphological analysis involves predicting the syntactic traits of a word (e.g. {POS: Noun, Case: Acc, Gender: Fem}). Previous work in morphological tagging improves performance for low-resource languages (LRLs) through cross-lingual training with a high-resource language (HRL) from the same family, but is limited by the strict---often false---assumption that tag sets exactly overlap between the HRL and LRL. In this paper we propose a method for cross-lingual morphological tagging that aims to improve information sharing between languages by relaxing this assumption. The proposed model uses factorial conditional random fields with neural network potentials, making it possible to (1) utilize the expressive power of neural network representations to smooth over superficial differences in the surface forms, (2) model pairwise and transitive relationships between tags, and (3) accurately generate tag sets that are unseen or rare in the training data. Experiments on four languages from the Universal Dependencies Treebank demonstrate superior tagging accuracies over existing cross-lingual approaches.

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  • June 3, 2018

    Hao Fang

    Engaging users in long, open-domain conversations with a chatbot remains a challenging research problem. Unlike task-oriented dialog systems which aim to accomplish small tasks quickly, users expect a broader variety of experiences from conversational chatbots (e.g., companionship, discussing recent news, or entertainment). The recent Alexa Prize has provided a new platform for researchers to build and test such open-domain dialog systems, i.e., socialbots, by allowing systems to interact with millions of real users through Alexa-enabled devices. The first part of this talk presents Sounding Board (winner of 2017 Alexa Prize) and discusses how Sounding Board uses massive and dynamically changing online contents to engage users in a coherent social conversation. While the Alexa platform provides an opportunity for getting real user feedback on a very large scale, some challenges remain. The second half of the talk focuses on addressing the challenge of scoring long socialbot conversations which cover several different topics. Using a large collection of Alexa Prize conversations, we study agent, content, and user factors that correlate with user ratings. We demonstrate approaches to estimate ratings at multiple levels of a long socialbot conversation.

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  • June 4, 2018

    Vered Shwartz

    Recognizing lexical inferences is one of the building blocks of natural language understanding. Lexical inference corresponds to a semantic relation that holds between two lexical items (words and multi-word expressions), when the meaning of one can be inferred from the other. In reading comprehension, for example, answering the question "which phones have long-lasting batteries?" given the text "Galaxy has a long-lasting battery", requires knowing that Galaxy is a model of a phone. In text summarization, lexical inference can help identifying redundancy, when two candidate sentences for the summary differ only in terms that hold a lexical inference relation (e.g. "the battery is long-lasting" and "the battery is enduring"). In this talk, I will present our work on automatic acquisition of lexical semantic relations from free text, focusing on two methods: the first is an integrated path-based and distributional method for recognizing lexical semantic relations (e.g. cat is a type of animal, tail is a part of cat). The second method focuses on the special case of interpreting the implicit semantic relation that holds between the constituent words of a noun compound (e.g. olive oil is made of olives, while baby oil is for babies).

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  • May 5, 2018

    Hany Hassan

    Machine translation has made rapid advances in recent years. Millions of people are using it today in online translation systems and mobile applications in order to communicate across language barriers. The question naturally arises whether such systems can approach or achieve parity with human translations. In this talk, we first describe our recent advances in Nerul Machine translation that led to SOTA results on news translation. We then address the problem of how to define and accurately measure human parity in translation. We will discuss our system achieving human performance and discuss limitations as well as future directions of current NMT systems.

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  • May 2, 2018

    Saining Xie

    With the support of big-data and big-compute, deep learning has reshaped the landscape of research and applications in artificial intelligence. Whilst traditional hand-guided feature engineering in many cases is simplified, the deep network architectures become increasingly more complex. A central question is if we can distill the minimal set of structural priors that can provide us the maximal flexibility and lead us to richer sets of structural primitives that potentially lay the foundations towards the ultimate goal of building general intelligent systems. In this talk I will introduce my Ph.D. work along the aforementioned direction. I will show how we can tackle different real world problems, with carefully designed architectures, guided by simple yet effective structural priors. In particular, I will focus on two structural priors that have proven to be useful in many different scenarios: the multi-scale prior and the sparse-connectivity prior. will also show examples of learning structural priors from data, instead of hard-wiring them.

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  • April 5, 2018

    Kyle Richardson

    In this talk, I will give an overview of research being done at the University of Stuttgart on semantic parser induction and natural language understanding. The main topic, semantic parser induction, relates to the problem of learning to map input text to full meaning representations from parallel datasets. Such resulting “semantic parsers” are often a core component in various downstream natural language understanding applications, including automated question-answering and generation systems. We look at learning within several novel domains and datasets being developed in Stuttgart (e.g., software documentation for text-to-code translation) and under various types of data supervision (e.g., learning from entailment, "polyglot" modeling, or learning from multiple datasets).

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  • April 2, 2018

    Jesse Dodge

    Driven by the need for parallelizable hyperparameter optimization methods, we study open loop search methods: sequences that are predetermined and can be generated before a single configuration is evaluated. Examples include grid search, uniform random search, low discrepancy sequences, and other sampling distributions. In particular, we propose the use of k-determinantal point processes in hyperparameter optimization via random search. Compared to conventional uniform random search where hyperparameter settings are sampled independently, a k-DPP promotes diversity. We describe an approach that transforms hyperparameter search spaces for efficient use with a k-DPP. In addition, we introduce a novel Metropolis-Hastings algorithm which can sample from k-DPPs defined over any space from which uniform samples can be drawn, including spaces with a mixture of discrete and continuous dimensions or tree structure. Our experiments show significant benefits when tuning hyperparameters to neural models for text classification, with a limited budget for training supervised learners, whether in serial or parallel.

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  • April 1, 2018

    Rama Vedantam

    Understanding how to model vision and language jointly is a long-standing challenge in artificial intelligence. Vision is one of the primary sensors we use to perceive the world, while language is our data structure to represent and communicate knowledge. In this talk, we will take up three lines of attack to this problem: interpretation, grounding, and imagination. In interpretation, the goal will be to get machine learning models to understand an image and describe its contents using natural language in a contextually relevant manner. In grounding, we will connect natural language to referents in the physical world, and show how this can help learn common sense. Finally, we will study how to ‘imagine’ visual concepts completely and accurately across the full range and (potentially unseen) compositions of their visual attributes. We will study these problems from computational as well as algorithmic perspectives and suggest exciting directions for future work.

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  • March 5, 2018

    Keisuke Sakaguchi

    Robustness has always been a desirable property for natural language processing. In many cases, NLP models (e.g., parsing) and downstream applications (e.g., MT) perform poorly when the input contains noise such as spelling errors, grammatical errors, and disfluency. In this talk, I will present three recent results on error correction models: character, word, and sentence level respectively. For character level, I propose semi-character recurrent neural network, which is motivated by a finding in Psycholinguistics, called Cmabrigde Uinervtisy (Cambridge University) effect. For word-level robustness, I propose an error-repair dependency parsing algorithm for ungrammatical texts. The algorithm can parse sentences and correct grammatical errors simultaneously. Finally, I propose a neural encoder-decoder model with reinforcement learning for sentence-level error correction. To avoid exposure bias in standard encoder-decoders, the model directly optimizes towards a metric for grammatical error correction performance.

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  • March 3, 2018

    Arun Chaganty

    A significant challenge in developing systems for tasks such as knowledge base population, text summarization or question answering is simply evaluating their performance: existing fully-automatic evaluation techniques rely on an incomplete set of “gold” annotations that can not adequately cover the range of possible outputs of such systems and lead to systematic biases against many genuinely useful system improvements. In this talk, I’ll present our work on how we can eliminate this bias by incorporating on-demand human feedback without incurring the full cost of human evaluation. Our key technical innovation is the design of good statistical estimators that are able to tradeoff cost for variance reduction. We hope that our work will enable the development of better NLP systems by making unbiased natural language evaluation practical and easy to use.

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  • March 1, 2018

    Chenyan Xiong

    Search engines and other information systems have started to evolve from retrieving documents to providing more intelligent information access. However, the evolution is still in its infancy due to computers’ limited ability in representing and understanding human language. This talk will present my work addressing these challenges with knowledge graphs. The first part is about utilizing entities from knowledge graphs to improve search. I will discuss how we build better text representations with entities and how the entity-based text representations improve text retrieval. The second part is about better text understanding through modeling entity salience (importance), as well as how the improved text understanding helps search under both feature-based and neural ranking settings. This talk concludes with future directions towards the next generation of intelligent information systems.

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  • March 3, 2018

    Yonatan Belinkov

    Language technology has become pervasive in everyday life, powering applications like Apple’s Siri or Google’s Assistant. Neural networks are a key component in these systems thanks to their ability to model large amounts of data. Contrary to traditional systems, models based on deep neural networks (a.k.a. deep learning) can be trained in an end-to-end fashion on input-output pairs, such as a sentence in one language and its translation in another language, or a speech utterance and its transcription. The end-to-end training paradigm simplifies the engineering process while giving the model flexibility to optimize for the desired task. This, however, often comes at the expense of model interpretability: understanding the role of different parts of the deep neural network is difficult, and such models are often perceived as “black-box”. In this work, I study deep learning models for two core language technology tasks: machine translation and speech recognition. I advocate an approach that attempts to decode the information encoded in such models while they are being trained. I perform a range of experiments comparing different modules, layers, and representations in the end-to-end models. The analyses illuminate the inner workings of end-to-end machine translation and speech recognition systems, explain how they capture different language properties, and suggest potential directions for improving them. The methodology is also applicable to other tasks in the language domain and beyond.

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  • March 5, 2018

    Peter Jansen

    Modern question answering systems are able to provide answers to a set of common natural language questions, but their ability to answer complex questions, or provide compelling explanations or justifications for why their answers are correct is still quite limited. These limitations are major barriers in high-impact domains like science and medicine, where the cost of making errors is high, and user trust is paramount. In this talk I'll discuss our recent work in developing systems that can build explanations to answer questions by aggregating information from multiple sources (sometimes called multi-hop inference). Aggregating information is challenging, particularly as the amount of information becomes large due to "semantic drift", or the tendency for inference algorithms to quickly move off-topic when assembling long chains of knowledge. Motivated by our earlier efforts in attempting to latently learn information aggregation for explanation generation (which is currently limited to short inference chains), I will discuss our current efforts to build a large corpus of detailed explanations expressed as lexically-connected explanation graphs to serve as training data for the multi-hop inference task. We will discuss characterizing what's in a science exam explanation, difficulties and methods for large-scale construction of detailed explanation graphs, and the possibility of automatically extracting common explanatory patterns from corpora such as this to support building large explanations (i.e. six or more aggregated facts) for unseen questions through merging, adapting, and adding to known explanatory patterns.

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  • February 2, 2018

    Rob Speer and Catherine Havasi

    We are the developers of ConceptNet, a long-running knowledge representation project that originated from crowdsourcing. We demonstrate systems that we’ve made by adding the common knowledge in ConceptNet to current techniques in distributional semantics. This produces word embeddings that are state-of-the-art at semantic similarity in multiple languages, analogies that perform like a moderately-educated human on the SATs, the ability to find relevant distinctions between similar words, and the ability to propose new knowledge-graph edges and “sanity check” them against existing knowledge.

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  • February 1, 2018

    Luheng He

    Semantic role labeling (SRL) systems aim to recover the predicate-argument structure of a sentence, to determine “who did what to whom”, “when”, and “where”. In this talk, I will describe my recent SRL work showing that relatively simple and general purpose neural architectures can lead to significant performance gains, including a over 40% error reduction over long-standing pre-neural performance levels. These approaches are relatively simple because they process the text in an end-to-end manner, without relying on the typical NLP pipeline (e.g. POS-tagging or syntactic parsing). They are general purpose because, with only slight modifications, they can be used to learn state-of-the-art models for related semantics problems. The final architecture I will present, which we call Labeled Span Graph Networks (LSGNs), opens up exciting opportunities to build a single, unified model for end-to-end, document-level semantic analysis.

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  • February 2, 2018

    Oren Etzioni

    Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, gave the keynote address at the winter meeting of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) on "Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Accelerate Translational Research".

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  • February 1, 2018

    Richard Zhang

    We explore the use of deep networks for image synthesis, both as a graphics goal and as an effective method for representation learning. We propose BicycleGAN, a general system for image-to-image translation problems, with the specific aim of capturing the multimodal nature of the output space. We study image colorization in greater detail and develop automatic and user-guided approaches. Moreover, colorization, as well as cross-channel prediction in general, is a simple but powerful pretext task for self-supervised feature learning. Not only does the network solve the direct graphics task, it also learns to capture patterns in the visual world, even without the benefit of human-curated labels. We demonstrate strong transfer to high-level semantic tasks, such as image classification, and to low-level human perceptual judgments. For the latter, we collect a large-scale dataset of human similarity judgments and find that our method outperforms traditional metrics such as PSNR and SSIM. We also discover that many unsupervised and self-supervised methods transfer strongly, even comparable to fully-supervised methods.

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  • January 3, 2018

    Alexander Rush

    Early successes in deep generative models of images have demonstrated the potential of using latent representations to disentangle structural elements. These techniques have, so far, been less useful for learning representations of discrete objects such as sentences. In this talk I will discuss two works on learning different types of latent structure: Structured Attention Networks, a model for learning a soft-latent approximation of the discrete structures such as segmentations, parse trees, and chained decisions; and Adversarially Regularized Autoencoders, a new GAN-based autoencoder for learning continuous representations of sentences with applications to textual style transfer. I will end by discussing an empirical analysis of some issues that make latent structure discovery of text difficult.

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  • November 2, 2017

    Danqi Chen

    Enabling a computer to understand a document so that it can answer comprehension questions is a central, yet unsolved, goal of NLP. This task of reading comprehension (i.e., question answering over a passage of text) has received a resurgence of interest, due to the creation of large-scale datasets and well-designed neural network models.

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  • November 1, 2017

    Jacob Walker

    Understanding the temporal dimension of images is a fundamental part of computer vision. Humans are able to interpret how the entities in an image will change over time. However, it has only been relatively recently that researchers have focused on visual forecasting—getting machines to anticipate events in the visual world before they actually happen. This aspect of vision has many practical implications in tasks ranging from human-computer interaction to anomaly detection. In addition, temporal prediction can serve as a task for representation learning, useful for various other recognition problems.

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