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  • CS Colloquium: Vered Shwartz (University of Washington) - Commonsense Knowledge and Reasoning in Natural Language

    Wed, Mar 10, 2021 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Vered Shwartz, University of Washington

    Talk Title: Commonsense Knowledge and Reasoning in Natural Language

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: Natural language understanding models are trained on a sample of the situations they may encounter. Commonsense and world knowledge, and language understanding and reasoning abilities can help them address unknown situations sensibly. This talk will discuss several lines of work addressing commonsense knowledge and reasoning in natural language. First, I will introduce a new paradigm for commonsense reasoning tasks with introspective knowledge discovery through a process of self-asking information seeking questions ("what is the definition of...") and answering them. Second, I will present work on nonmonotonic reasoning in natural language, a core human reasoning ability that has been studied in classical AI but mostly overlooked in modern NLP, including abductive reasoning (reasoning about plausible explanations), counterfactual reasoning (what if?) and defeasible reasoning (updating beliefs given additional information). Next, I will discuss how generalizing existing knowledge can help language understanding, and demonstrate it for noun compound paraphrasing (e.g. olive oil is "oil made of olives"). I will conclude with open problems and future directions in language, knowledge, and reasoning.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.

    Biography: Vered Shwartz is a postdoctoral researcher at the Allen Institute for AI (AI2) and the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, working with Yejin Choi. Vered's research interests are in NLP, AI, and machine learning, particularly focusing on commonsense knowledge and reasoning, computational semantics, discourse and pragmatics. Previously, Vered completed her PhD in Computer Science from Bar-Ilan University, under the supervision of Ido Dagan. Vered's work has been recognized with several awards, including The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Postdoctoral Award for Women in Mathematical and Computing Sciences, the Clore Foundation Scholarship, and an ACL 2016 outstanding paper award.

    Host: Xiang Ren

    Audiences: By invitation only.

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair


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