Friday, May 1, 2020 - 2:30pm to 4:30pm




Julia Hockenmaier, Associate Professor University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign

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John Friday,

Blocksworld revisited: Instruction giving and following in Minecraft

Situated language understanding and production is an increasingly important, but still very challenging problem. To develop agents that can communicate and collaborate with humans in a 3D environment, we turn to the Minecraft gaming platform, which enables us to collect human-human dialogs and game logs that we can use to train simple interactive agents for this domain.  We have defined a collaborative building task, in which one player (A, the Architect) is shown a target structure and needs to instruct the other player (B, the Builder) to build this structure. Although A can observe B, the players interact only via a chat interface. I will discuss our work on creating agents for both of these roles, and the challenges this “toy problem” poses for natural language understanding and generation.

Julia Hockenmaier is an associate professor of computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has received an NSF CAREER award, a Google Research Award, and an IJCAI-JAIR best paper award. She has served as the chair of the NAACL board (2018-2019), a co-chair of CoNLL 2013, and a program chair of EMNLP 2018. 


LTI Colloquium