Nov. 22, 2019

Friday Night AI: “Teaching Robots through Natural Interactions”
Free and open to the public

Invited speakers: Prof. Joyce Chai and Prof. John Laird
Organizer: Michigan AI Lab, in collaboration with the Ann Arbor District Library
Moderator: Prof. Rada Mihalcea
When: November 22, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Where: AADL Ann Arbor downtown library, multi-purpose room (343 S 5th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104)

Humans are always learning new tasks from demonstrations, instructions, and even trial and error. In contrast, current AI systems are bound to the specific tasks for which they were originally programmed. We have seen great advances in the ability of AI systems to learn to do individual tasks at human expert levels (e.g., Chess, Go, and video games), but they are hopeless when presented with a new task. As AI systems become more prevalent, we need to start asking how can we teach them to do what we want. Join us for an evening to discuss research on how we are building AI systems that learn new tasks through natural language instruction and demonstrations. 

  • What is the state-of-the-art in teaching robots new tasks through natural interaction? 
  • What are the key challenges? 
  • What are the potential applications and who will benefit? 

About the speakers:

John Laird is the John L. Tishman Professor of Engineering in the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Division, University of Michigan, where he also directs the Soar Lab. He is a founder of Soar Technology, an Ann Arbor company specializing in creating autonomous AI entities. 

Joyce Chai is a Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Division, University of Michigan. She directs the Language and Interaction Research (LAIR) Group. Her recent work has focused on grounded language processing to facilitate situated communication with robots and other artificial agents.