Chai receives NSF Award

Joyce Chai, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering has been awarded a three-year NSF grant for a project entitled "Extending Verb Semantics with Causality towards Physical World".

With the emergence of a new generation of cognitive robots, the capability to communicate with these robots using natural language has become increasingly important. Verbal communication often involves the use of verbs, for example, to ask a robot to perform some tasks or to monitor some physical activities. Concrete action verbs often denote some change of state as a result of an action; for example, "slice a pizza" implies the state of the object pizza will be changed from one piece to several smaller pieces. The change of state can be perceived from the physical world through different sensors. Given a human utterance, if the robot can anticipate the potential change of the state signaled by the verbs, it can then actively sense the environment and better connect language with the perceived physical world such as who performs the action and what objects and locations are involved. This improved connection will benefit many applications involving human-robot communication.

(Date Posted: 2016-09-12)