Raymond J. Mooney

Monday, March 14th, 2022 at 11:30am

Raymond J. Mooney - Dialog with Robots: Perceptually Grounded Communication with Lifelong Learning

Professor, Department of Computer Science and Director of the Artificial Intelligence laboratory University of Texas at Austin

Abstract: Developing robots that can accept instructions from and collaborate with human users is greatly enhanced by an ability to engage in natural language dialog. Unlike most other dialog scenarios, this requires grounding the semantic analysis of language in perception and action in the world. Although deep-learning has greatly enhanced methods for such grounded language understanding, it is difficult to ensure that the data used to train such models covers all of the concepts that a robot might encounter in practice. Therefore, we have developed methods that can continue to learn from dialog with users during ordinary use by acquiring additional targeted training data from the responses to intentionally designed clarification and active learning queries. These methods use reinforcement learning to automatically acquire dialog strategies that support both effective immediate task completion as well as learning that improves future performance. Using both experiments in simulation and with real robots, we have demonstrated that these methods exhibit life-long learning that improves long-term performance.

Bio: Raymond J. Mooney is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in 1988 from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. He is an author of over 180 published research papers, primarily in the areas of machine learning and natural language processing. He was the President of the International Machine Learning Society from 2008-2011, program co-chair for AAAI 2006, general chair for HLT-EMNLP 2005, and co-chair for ICML 1990. He is a Fellow of AAAI, ACM, and ACL and the recipient of the Classic Paper award from AAAI-19 and best paper awards from AAAI-96, KDD-04, ICML-05 and ACL-07.

Host: David McAllester

Registration to attend virtually: https://uchicagogroup.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_O8pTNeswQwywyWNPD_q_9A

Alexei (Alyosha) Efros

Friday, April 29th, 2022 at 11:30am

Alexei (Alyosha) Efros - Self-Supervision: Learning from the Bottom Up

Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences UC Berkeley

Abstract: Why do self-supervised learning? A common answer is: “because data labeling is expensive.” In this talk, I will argue that there are other, perhaps more fundamental reasons for working on self-supervision. First, it should allow us to get away from the tyranny of top-down semantic categorization and force meaningful associations to emerge naturally from the raw sensor data in a bottom-up fashion. Second, it should allow us to ditch fixed datasets and enable continuous, online learning, which is a much more natural setting for real-world agents. Third, and most intriguingly, there is hope that it might be possible to force a self-supervised task curriculum to emerge from first principles, even in the absence of a pre-defined downstream task or goal, similar to evolution. In this talk, I will touch upon these themes to argue that, far from running its course, research in self-supervised learning is only just beginning.

Bio: Alyosha is a professor at EECS Department at UC Berkeley, where he is part of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab (BAIR). Before that, he spent nine years on the faculty of the Robotics Institute at CMU. he is also still remembered in Oxford, where he did a post-doc with Andrew Zisserman. Starting in 2007, he has also been closely collaborating with Team WILLOW at École Normale Supérieure / INRIA in beautiful Paris.

Host: Greg Shakhnarovich

Registration to attend virtually: https://uchicagogroup.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dvnkEMPuRaaLMFP229ryMg

Manuela M. Veloso

Thursday, May 12th, 2022 at 11:00am

Manuela M. Veloso - AI in Finance: Examples and Discussion

Managing Director, Head of AI Research J.P. Morgan

(on leave from Carnegie Mellon University where Manuela is the Herbert A. Simon University Professor in the School of Computer Science, and the past Head of the Machine Learning Department)

Abstract: In this talk, I will present examples of our recent AI research and practice experience in the finance domain, addressing data, reasoning, and execution AI approaches. Presented projects will be on AI for data discovery, data standardization, synthetic data, behavior understanding, multiagent simulations, and explainability. We are driven by goals to service and assist humans in their complex tasks.

Bio: Manuela Veloso, Ph.D., Managing Director, Head of AI Research, J.P. Morgan Manuela M. Veloso is the Head of J.P. Morgan AI Research, which pursues fundamental research in areas of core relevance to financial services, including data mining and cryptography, machine learning, explainability, and human-AI interaction. J.P. Morgan AI Research partners with applied data analytics teams across the firm as well as with leading academic institutions globally. Professor Veloso is on leave from Carnegie Mellon University as the Herbert A. Simon University Professor in the School of Computer Science, and the past Head of the Machine Learning Department. With her students, she had led research in AI, with a focus on robotics and machine learning, having concretely researched and developed a variety of autonomous robots, including teams of soccer robots, and mobile service robots. Her robot soccer teams have been RoboCup world champions several times, and the CoBot mobile robots have autonomously navigated for more than 1,000km in university buildings. Professor Veloso is the Past President of AAAI, (the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence), and the co-founder, Trustee, and Past President of RoboCup. Professor Veloso has been recognized with multiple honors, including being a Fellow of the ACM, IEEE, AAAS, and AAAI. She is the recipient of several best paper awards, the Einstein Chair of the Chinese Academy of Science, the ACM/SIGART Autonomous Agents Research Award, an NSF Career Award, and the Allen Newell Medal for Excellence in Research. Professor Veloso earned a Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Instituto Superior Tecnico in Lisbon, Portugal, a Master of Arts in Computer Science from Boston University, and Master of Science and PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. See http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mmv/Veloso.html for her scientific publications.

Host: Avrim Blum

Registration to attend virtually: https://uchicagogroup.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rfM4rnHaS_KHk27a7i4p2g

For questions and comments contact Jinbo Xu.