Common Sense and Language – Benjamin van Durme (Johns Hopkins University)

July 11, 2014 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Czech Republic

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2014 Frederick Jelinek Memorial Summer Workshop

It is widely assumed that natural language understanding requires a significant amount of general world knowledge, or ‘common sense’. I will first review various expressions of this claim, and define common sense (Common Sense for Language). I then will describe two approaches to automatically acquiring this knowledge, Common Sense from Language, either from the generalization over multiple situational descriptions, or in the direct interpretation of generic sentences. I will claim that both lead to the same roadblock: we can acquire common sense in the form of generic-like statements, but standard text corpora on their own do not easily, explicitly relay the underlying quantifier domain restrictions, nor quantifier strengths, that are required for full generic interpretation. Moving from a ‘possible’ to a ‘probable’ interpretation of generics is then the major obstacle in acquiring general world knowledge for NLU (if we wish to rely exclusively on text-based acquisition).

All PRELIM Seminars will be held in Room S9, 1st Floor.

Center for Language and Speech Processing