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RI Seminar: Dieter Fox
Grounding Natural Language in Robot Control Systems

Dieter Fox
Associate Professor, University of Washington

April 13, 2012, 3:30PM - 4:30PM, NSH 1305

Robots are becoming more and more capable at reasoning about people, objects, and activities in their environments. The ability to extract high-level semantic information from sensor data provides new opportunities for human robot interaction. One such opportunity is to explore interacting with robots via natural language. In this talk I will present our preliminary work toward enabling robots to interpret, or ground, natural language commands in robot control systems. We build on techniques developed by the semantic natural language processing community on learning grammars that parse natural language input to logic-based semantic meaning. I will demonstrate early results in two application domains: First, learning to follow natural language directions through indoor environments; and, second, learning to ground (simple) object attributes via weakly supervised training.

Joint work with Luke Zettlemoyer, Cynthia Matuszek, Nicolas Fitzgerald, and Liefeng Bo. Support provided by Intel ISTC-PC, NSF, and ARL, and ONR.

Additional Information

Host: Drew Bagnell

Appointments: Stephanie Matvey

Speaker Biography

Dieter Fox is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, where he heads the UW Robotics and State Estimation Lab. From 2009 to 2011, he was also Director of the Intel Research Labs Seattle. He currently serves as the academic PI of the Intel Science and Technology Center for Pervasive Computing hosted at UW. Dieter obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Bonn, Germany. Before going to UW, he spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the CMU Robot Learning Lab. Fox's research is in artificial intelligence, with a focus on state estimation applied to robotics and activity recognition. He has published over 100 technical papers and is co-author of the text book "Probabilistic Robotics". He is a fellow of the AAAI and received several best paper awards at major robotics and AI conferences. He is also an editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and was program co-chair of the 2008 AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence.