AI/ML Seminar Series

Standard

Weekly Seminar in AI & Machine Learning
Sponsored by Cylance



Oct 1
No Seminar

Oct 8
Bren Hall 4011
1 pm
Matt Gardner
Research Scientist
Allen Institute for AI

The path to natural language understanding goes through increasingly challenging question answering tasks. I will present research that significantly improves performance on two such tasks: answering complex questions over tables, and open-domain factoid question answering. For answering complex questions, I will present a type-constrained encoder-decoder neural semantic parser that learns to map natural language questions to programs. For open-domain factoid QA, I will show that training paragraph-level QA systems to give calibrated confidence scores across paragraphs is crucial when the correct answer-containing paragraph is unknown. I will conclude with some thoughts about how to combine these two disparate QA paradigms, towards the goal of answering complex questions over open-domain text.

Bio:Matt Gardner is a research scientist at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), where he has been exploring various kinds of question answering systems. He is the lead designer and maintainer of the AllenNLP toolkit, a platform for doing NLP research on top of pytorch. Matt is also the co-host of the NLP Highlights podcast, where, with Waleed Ammar, he gets to interview the authors of interesting NLP papers about their work. Prior to joining AI2, Matt earned a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University, working with Tom Mitchell on the Never Ending Language Learning project.

Oct 15
No Seminar

Oct 22
Bren Hall 4011
1 pm
Stephan Mandt
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Computer Science
UC Irvine

I will give an overview of some exciting recent developments in deep probabilistic modeling, which combines deep neural networks with probabilistic models for unsupervised learning. Deep probabilistic models are capable of synthesizing artificial data that highly resemble the training data, and are able fool both machine learning classifiers as well as humans. These models have numerous applications in creative tasks, such as voice, image, or video synthesis and manipulation. At the same time, combining neural networks with strong priors results in flexible yet highly interpretable models for finding hidden structure in large data sets. I will summarize my group’s activities in this space, including measuring semantic shifts of individual words over hundreds of years, summarizing audience reactions to movies, and predicting the future evolution of video sequences with applications to neural video coding.
Oct 29
Bren Hall 4011
1 pm
Alex Psomas
Postdoctoral Researcher
Computer Science Department
Carnegie Mellon University

We study the problem of fairly allocating a set of indivisible items among $n$ agents. Typically, the literature has focused on one-shot algorithms. In this talk we depart from this paradigm and allow items to arrive online. When an item arrives we must immediately and irrevocably allocate it to an agent. A paradigmatic example is that of food banks: food donations arrive, and must be delivered to nonprofit organizations such as food pantries and soup kitchens. Items are often perishable, which is why allocation decisions must be made quickly, and donated items are typically leftovers, leading to lack of information about items that will arrive in the future. Which recipient should a new donation go to? We approach this problem from different angles.

In the first part of the talk, we study the problem of minimizing the maximum envy between any two recipients, after all the goods have been allocated. We give a polynomial-time, deterministic and asymptotically optimal algorithm with vanishing envy, i.e. the maximum envy divided by the number of items T goes to zero as T goes to infinity. In the second part of the talk, we adopt and further develop an emerging paradigm called virtual democracy. We will take these ideas all the way to practice. In the last part of the talk I will present some results from an ongoing work on automating the decisions faced by a food bank called 412 Food Rescue, an organization in Pittsburgh that matches food donations with non-profit organizations.

Nov 5
Bren Hall 4011
1 pm
Fred Park
Associate Professor
Dept of Math & Computer Science
Whittier College

Nov 12
No Seminar (Veterans Day)

Nov 19
Bren Hall 4011
1 pm
Philip Nelson
Director of Engineering
Google Research

Nov 26
Bren Hall 4011
1 pm
Richard Futrell
Assistant Professor
Dept of Language Science
UC Irvine

Dec 3
No Seminar (NIPS)