The following speakers have graciously accepted to give keynotes at ACL 2020.
Kathleen R. McKeown
Rewriting the Past: Assessing the Field through the Lens of Language Generation
Abstract: 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.
Title: Cognitive and computational building blocks for more human-like language in machines Abstract: Humans learn language building on more basic conceptual and computational resources that we can already see precursors of in infancy. These include capacities for causal reasoning, symbolic rule formation, rapid abstraction, and commonsense representations of events in terms of objects, agents and their interactions. I will talk about steps towards capturing these abilities in engineering terms, using tools from hierarchical Bayesian models, probabilistic programs, program induction, and neuro-symbolic architectures. I will show examples of how these tools have been applied in both cognitive science and AI contexts, and point to ways they might be useful in building more human-like language, learning and reasoning in machines.