AI Seminar: Incorporating Commonsense Reasoning into NLP Models

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Picture of Vered Schwartz Incorporating Commonsense Reasoning into NLP Models


NLP models are primarily supervised, and are by design trained on a sample of the situations they may encounter in practice. The ability of models to generalize to and address unknown situations reasonably is limited, but may be improved by endowing models with commonsense knowledge and reasoning skills. In this talk I will present several lines of work in which commonsense is used for improving the performance of NLP tasks: for explaining models' predictions, interpreting figurative language, and resolving context-sensitive event coreference. Finally, I will discuss open problems and future directions in building NLP models with commonsense reasoning abilities.


Vered Shwartz is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include commonsense reasoning, computational semantics and pragmatics, and multiword expressions. Previously, Vered was a postdoctoral researcher at the Allen Institute for AI (AI2) and the University of Washington, and received her PhD in Computer Science from Bar-Ilan University. Vered's work has been recognized with several awards, including The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Postdoctoral Award for Women in Mathematical and Computing Sciences, the Clore Foundation Scholarship, and an ACL 2016 outstanding paper award.