Each summer UW Computer Science & Engineering and Microsoft Research co-organize a summer research institute that brings together dozens of the world’s top researchers to discuss an important emerging topic. This year’s topic was “Understanding Situated Language in Everyday Life” – organized by Luke Zettlemoyer (UW CSE) and William Dolan (MSR). Quoting from the overview:
“Robust natural language understanding systems have the potential to completely revolutionize our interactions with computers. From Apple’s Siri to Google Now and Microsoft’s XBox Kinect, we now talk to our computers, phones, and entertainment systems on a daily basis. Similarly, as we interact with social media we constantly watch, comment on, and otherwise caption massive streams of image and video data. Recently, there has been growing interest in approaches that learn to understand these rich data sources, with a common focus on studying how language use is grounded in the physical or a virtual world.”
The Institute gathered 40 top researchers from across the world whose research focus included natural language processing, speech, computer vision, robotics, and cognitive science. The goal was to provide a forum for identifying common research themes and challenges across all of these disciplines.