[Ml-stat-talks] Fwd: [talks] Colloquium Speaker: Karthik Narasimhan, Today- 12:30pm

Barbara Engelhardt bee at princeton.edu
Fri Mar 10 10:15:06 EST 2017

Talk of interest today.

Colloquium Speaker
Karthik Narasimhan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Friday, March 10- 12:30pm
Computer Science 105
Host: Barbara Engelhardt

Grounding natural language with autonomous interaction

The resurgence of deep neural networks has resulted in impressive advances
in natural language processing (NLP). However, this success is dependent on
access to large amounts of structured supervision, often manually
constructed and unavailable for many applications and domains. In this
talk, I will present novel computational models that integrate
reinforcement learning with language understanding to induce grounded
representations of semantics using unstructured feedback. These techniques
not only enable task-optimized representations which reduce dependence on
high quality annotations, but also exploit language in adapting control
policies across different environments.  First, I will describe an approach
for learning to play text-based games, where all interaction is through
natural language and the only source of feedback is in-game rewards.
Second, I will exhibit a framework for utilizing textual descriptions to
assist cross-domain policy transfer for reinforcement learning. Finally, I
will demonstrate how reinforcement learning can enhance traditional NLP
systems in low resource scenarios. In particular, I describe an autonomous
agent that can learn to acquire and integrate external information to
improve information extraction.

Karthik Narasimhan is a PhD candidate working with Prof. Regina Barzilay at
CSAIL, MIT. His research interests are in natural language understanding
and deep reinforcement learning. His current focus is on developing
autonomous systems that can acquire language understanding through
interaction with their environment while also utilizing textual knowledge
to drive their decision making. His work has received a best paper award at
EMNLP 2016 and an honorable mention for best paper at EMNLP 2015. Karthik
received a B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Madras in
2012 and an S.M in Computer Science from MIT in 2014.

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