by Byron Spice | Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Alex Waibel, who holds faculty appointments in both the Language Technologies Institute and at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany, reports that his German lab has developed a computer system that for the first time outperforms people in recognizing conversational speech.

It's difficult even for people to accurately transcribe conversations, Waibel said. "When people talk to each... Read More

Machine Translation Tools Find Word Meanings Vary Based on News Viewership
by Byron Spice | Wednesday, October 21, 2020

It's not news that U.S. politics are highly polarized or that polarization affects cable news channels. But researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, using computer translation tools in an unprecedented way, have found that even the meanings of some words are now polarized.

Everyone is speaking English, they said, yet the computer analysis of social media discussions shows viewers of different news channels are, in a sense, speaking different languages.

Based on millions of user comments on the YouTube channels for four leading cable news outlets, it seems that viewers of... Read More

by Byron Spice | Wednesday, October 7, 2020

LTI Ph.D. student Anjalie Field has received a 2020 Google Ph.D. Fellowships. Field is among 53 recipients this year worldwide, two of whom are enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University.

The Google Ph.D. Fellowship Program recognizes outstanding graduate students doing exceptional and innovative research in areas relevant to computer science and related fields. In addition to providing tuition and a stipend, the program matches each fellow with a Google research mentor.

Field's work focuses on... Read More

Team prepares for first competition
by Byron Spice | Friday, September 18, 2020

An autonomous car programmed by a Carnegie Mellon University student team will race for the first time Sept. 24-25 when Roborace, an international competition for autonomous vehicles (AVs), begins its season on the island of Anglesey in Wales.

In Roborace, each team prepares their own artificial intelligence algorithms to control their race car, but all of the teams use identically prepared AVs, compute platforms and venues. To prepare for this month's race, the CMU team spent the summer working on the fundamentals of driving... Read More

System Developed by LTI Researchers Uses Social Media Posts to Assess Building Damage
by Byron Spice | Friday, September 4, 2020

It wasn't long after Hurricane Laura hit the Gulf Coast Thursday that people began flying drones to record the damage and posting videos on social media. Those videos are a precious resource, say researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, who are working on ways to use them for rapid damage assessment.

By using artificial intelligence, the researchers are developing a system that can automatically identify buildings and make an initial determination of whether they are damaged and how serious that damage might be.

"Current damage assessments are mostly based on individuals... Read More

LTI and CMU researchers work to automatically make requests more polite
by Byron Spice | Tuesday, July 7, 2020

In a tense time when a pandemic rages, politicians wrangle for votes and protesters demand racial justice, a little politeness and courtesy go a long way. Now researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an automated method for making communications more polite.

Specifically, the method takes nonpolite directives or requests — those that use either impolite or neutral language — and restructures them or adds words to make them more well-mannered. "Send me the data," for instance, might become "Could you please send me the data?"

The researchers will present... Read More

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Dear Members of the LTI Community,

Like many of you, I was horrified by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and... Read More

38 Papers from LTI-affiliated Authors Accepted
by Bryan Burtner | Thursday, April 9, 2020

The 2020 Annual Conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2020) features a bevy of accepted papers from LTI faculty and students – 38 in all. In addition to the large contingent of LTI-authored papers, a number of LTI students and faculty members are involved in workshops affiliated with the ACL conference, either as members of organizing committees, or as invited speakers.

The ACL conference, now in its 58th year, bills itself as "the premier conference of the field of computational linguistics, covering a... Read More

Pioneering Professor Left Indelible Mark on the World of Computer Science
by Byron Spice | Friday, February 28, 2020

Jaime Carbonell foresaw a world where people could freely communicate with each other, no matter what language they spoke. He knew that making this dream a reality would require automation, so he spent his career building machines that could understand human language.

He knew full well that earlier attempts at machine translation had largely come to naught. Nevertheless, as a young computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University in 1985, Carbonell persuaded his superiors to let him start a Center for Machine Translation. For the next 35 years... Read More

Hate Speech Countered by Detecting, Highlighting "Help Speech"
by Byron Spice | Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Complete the following sentence: Rohingya refugees should go to­­­ —

A. Pakistan.
B. Bangladesh.
C. Hell.

These aren't good choices, but all are sentiments that have been expressed repeatedly on social media. The Rohingyas, who began fleeing Myanamar in 2017 to avoid ethnic cleansing, are ill-equipped to defend themselves from these online attacks, but innovations from Carnegie Mellon University's ... Read More