Rewriting the Past: Assessing the Field through the Lens of Language Generation

Prof. Kathleen R. McKeown / Columbia University, New York

Live Presentation: Jul 6 (14:30-15:15 GMT) [Livestream (Recorded)]
Live QA: Jul 6 (15:15-15:45 GMT) [Livestream (Recorded)]

In recent years, we have seen tremendous advances in the field of natural language processing through the use of neural networks. In fact, they have done so well, that they have almost succeeded in rewriting the field as we knew it. In this talk, I examine the state of the field and its link to the past, with a focus on language generation of many forms. I ask where neural networks have been particularly successful, where approaches from the past might still be valuable, and where we need to turn in the future if we are to go beyond our current success. To answer these questions, this talk will feature clips from a series of interviews I carried out with experts in the field.

Bio: Kathleen R. McKeown is the Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University and the Founding Director of the Data Science Institute, serving as Director from 2012 to 2017. She is also an Amazon Scholar. In earlier years, she served as Department Chair (1998-2003) and as Vice Dean for Research for the School of Engineering and Applied Science (2010-2012). A leading scholar and researcher in the field of natural language processing, McKeown focuses her research on the use of data for societal problems; her interests include text summarization, question answering, natural language generation, social media analysis and multilingual applications. She has received numerous honors and awards, including American Academy of Arts and Science elected member, American Association of Artificial Intelligence Fellow, a Founding Fellow of the Association for Computational Linguistics and an Association for Computing Machinery Fellow. Early on she received the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, and a National Science Foundation Faculty Award for Women. In 2010, she won both the Columbia Great Teacher Award—an honor bestowed by the students—and the Anita Borg Woman of Vision Award for Innovation.
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