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Broad Area Colloquium for Artificial Intelligence,
Geometry, Graphics, Robotics and Vision

Language games and other meaningful pursuits

Michael Littman
AT&T Labs-Research

Monday, February 11, 2002, 4:15PM
Gates B01


If we could figure out how to make computers understand what we *mean* when we communicate with them in natural language, it would open up a world of opportunities. One way to measure and spur progress is to evaluate computers playing language games---games that challenge people's knowledge of language. I'll survey some attempts over the past few years to get computers to play Trivial Pursuit, crossword puzzles, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and several others. These projects exhibit some common ideas that suggest fruitful directions for future research.

About the Speaker

Michael Littman was a member of the Artificial Intelligence Principles Research Department at AT&T Labs---Research. His main interests are in the area of machine learning, examining algorithms for decision making under uncertainty and statistical natural language processing. He received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1996. His work on solving crossword puzzles by computer was awarded the outstanding paper award at the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence in 1999, and, while an assistant professor at Duke University, he was selected for an undergraduate teaching award in 1999.


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