Grounded Language Understanding towards Physical Interaction
With the emergence of a new generation of cognitive robots, the capability to communicate with these robots using natural language has become increasingly important. Verbal communication often involves the use of verbs, for example, to ask a robot to perform some tasks or to monitor some physical activities. Concrete action verbs often denote some change of state as a result of an action; for example, "slice a pizza" implies the state of the object pizza will be changed from one piece to several smaller pieces. The change of state can be perceived from the physical world through different sensors. Given a human utterance, if the robot can anticipate the potential change of the state signaled by the verbs, it can then actively sense the environment and better connect language with the perceived physical world such as who performs the action and what objects and locations are involved. This improved connection will benefit many applications relying on human-robot communication.
- Causality Modeling for Concrete Action Verbs.
Situated Human Robot Dialogue
A new generation of interactive robots have emerged in recent years to
provide service, care, and companionship for humans. To support natural
interaction between a human and these robots, technology enabling
situated dialogue becomes increasingly important. Situated dialogue
is drastically different from traditional spoken dialogue systems,
multimodal conversational interfaces, and tele-operated human robot
In situated human robot dialogue, human partners and
robots are situated and co-present in a shared physical
environment. The shared surrounding significantly affects how they
interact with each other and how the robot interprets human language and performs
tasks. In the last couple years, we have started a couple projects on
situated human robot dialogue, particularly focusing on how the
situatedness affects human robot language based interaction, and thus
techniques for situated language processing and conversation grounding.
- Contextually Grounded Discourse
for Mediating Shared Perceptual Basis in Human Robot dialgogue .
- Collaborative Model
for Interpreting Imprecise Language in Situated
Situated and Multimodal Language Processing in Virtual World
Semantic and Discourse Processing
Given a large amount of textual data (e.g., news articles, wikipedia,
weblogs, etc) available online, it has become increasingly important
for techniques that can automatically process this data, for example,
to extract event information, to answer user questions, and to make
inferences. Along these lines, we are particularly interested in the role of discourse and
pragmatics in natural language processing and their
applications. Some example projects include:
- Implicit Arguments in Nominal Semantic Role
Processing in Conversational QA