Percy Liang: 2015 AI Workshop


Thursday April 30, 2015
Location: Fisher Conference Center, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"Natural Language Interfaces"


Today, the tremendous growth of semi-structured data far outpaces our ability to ask interesting deep questions of it. Moreover, much of the advanced data processing and analysis is limited to the privileged few who have programming expertise. In this talk, I will entertain the possibility of using natural language as a universal and agile interface for querying, and more generally computing with, data. Specifically, I will discuss two recent projects: (i) learning to map natural language questions into database queries on Freebase; and (ii) learning to map natural language to queries that extract information from semi-structured web pages. Our system jointly reasons over the uncertainty in language and the messiness of the web, answering a new class of questions which was not possible before.


Percy Liang is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University (B.S. from MIT, 2004; Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, 2011). His research interests include (i) modeling natural language semantics, (ii) developing machine learning methods that infer rich latent structures from limited supervision, (iii) and studying the tradeoff between statistical and computational efficiency. He is a 2015 Sloan Research Fellow, 2014 Microsoft Research Faculty Fellow, a 2010 Siebel Scholar, and won the best student paper at the International Conference on Machine Learning in 2008.