Month: August 2016

Please join us for the NLP Seminar on Monday Sept 12 at 3:30pm in 202 South Hall. All are welcome!  (This semester we are posting preparatory readings, for those who are interested. Note also the room change to room 202 South Hall.)


Speaker: Ellie Pavlick, U Penn


Title: Natural Language Inference in the Real World

It is impossible to reason about natural language by memorizing all possible sentences. Rather, we rely on models of composition which allow the meanings of individual words to be combined to produce meanings of longer phrases. In natural language processing, we often employ models of composition that work well for carefully-curated datasets or toy examples, but prove to be very brittle when applied to the type of language that humans actually use.


This talk will discuss our work on applying natural language inference in the “real world.” I will describe observations from experimental studies of humans’ linguistic inferences, and describe the challenges they present for existing methods of automated natural language inference (with particular focus to the case of adjective-noun composition). I will also outline our current work on extending models of compositional entailment in order to better handle the types of imprecise inferences we observe in human language.

Slides: (pdf of slides)
Preparatory Reading:

Welcome back everyone to the Fall 2016 semester!  This fall we will have a new time for the NLP Seminar; we’ll be meeting on Mondays from 3:30-4:30pm.  The location is in room 202 South Hall.

Another exciting change is that UC Berkeley students can earn 1 unit of credit for attending the meeting on a weekly basis.  Grad students can sign up under I School 290  or CS 294.

Breaking news: undergraduates from any department can now sign up for INFO 190-001 (CCN 34812)

We’ll continue with invited speakers for alternating weeks, and in the intervening weeks we’ll discuss research papers and related activities.  We’ll continue to post speaker information on this web site.

The speaker lineup is:
9/12: Ellie Pavlick (U Penn)
9/19: Percy Liang (Stanford)
10/3: Sida Wang (Stanford)
10/17: Jacob Andreas (Berkeley)
10/31: Jiwei Li (Stanford)
11/14: David Jurgens (Stanford)
11/28: NLP professors (Berkeley)