Nasrin Mostafazadeh will be giving a hybrid talk on Friday, March 4, from 11am-noon PST.   This talk will be held in person in South Hall 202, and Zoom information will be distributed via the Berkeley NLP Seminar listserv for those wishing to attend remotely.

Title: How far have we come in giving our NLU systems common sense?

Abstract: Commonsense reasoning has been a long-established area in AI for more than three decades. Despite the lack of much ongoing effort in this area after the 80s, in the past few years, there has been a renewed interest in the AI community for giving machines common sense–acknowledging it as the holy grail of AI and one of the bottlenecks in deploying AI systems in the real world. With the tremendous recent progress in natural language understanding (NLU), the lack of commonsense reasoning capabilities of NLU systems is more evident than ever. In this talk, I’ll discuss the amazing recent progress made in tackling commonsense reasoning benchmarks using the pre-trained neural models. I’ll talk about the role of benchmarks in measuring our progress and how we can move the goal post towards constructing coherent mental models of narratives.

Bio: Nasrin is Co-founder of Verneek, a deep-tech startup in NYC (in stealth). Verneek’s mission is to enable anyone to make better and faster decisions anywhere, using intuitive modalities of interaction that are powered through innovative AI technologies. Before Verneek, Nasrin held research positions at AI startups and big tech companies ranging from BenevolentAI to Microsoft Research. She received her PhD at the University of Rochester, working at the conversational interaction and dialogue research group, with her PhD work focused on commonsense reasoning through the lens of narratives. She has started lines of research that push AI toward a deeper understanding of the world, currently being further developed into the core technologies at Verneek. She has been a keynote speaker, chair, organizer, and program committee member at different AI events. Nasrin was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Science in 2019 for her work in AI.