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Published on Oct 23, 2016
Jacob Andreas:Modular Neural Architectures for Grounded Language Learning
ABSTRACT Language understanding depends on two abilities: an ability to translate between natural language utterances and abstract representations of meaning, and an ability to relate these meaning representations to the world. In the natural language processing literature, these tasks are respectively known as "semantic parsing" and "grounding", and have been treated as essentially independent problems. In this talk, I will present two modular neural architectures for jointly learning to ground language in the world and reason about it compositionally.
I will first describe a technique that uses syntactic information to dynamically construct neural networks from composable primitives. The resulting structures, called "neural module networks", can be used to achieve state-of-the-art results on a variety of grounded question answering tasks. Next, I will present a model for contextual referring expression generation, in which contrastive behavior results from a combination of learned semantics and inference-driven pragmatics. This model is again backed by modular neural components---in this case elementary listener and speaker representations. It is able to successfully complete a challenging referring expression generation task, exhibiting pragmatic behavior without ever observing such behavior at training time.