LCSR Seminar: Zhou Yu “Enabling Machines with Situational Awareness, Communication, and Decision-Making Abilities Leveraging Multimodal Information”

October 9, 2019 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Hackerman B-17


Humans interact with other humans or the world through information from various channels including vision, audio, language, haptics, etc.  To simulate intelligence, machines require similar abilities to process and combine information from different channels to acquire better situation awareness, better communication ability, and better decision-making ability. In this talk, we describe three projects. In the first study, we enable a robot to utilize both vision and audio information to achieve better user understanding. Then we use incremental language generation to improve the robot’s communication with a human. In the second study, we utilize multimodal history tracking to optimize policy planning in task-oriented visual dialogs. In the third project, we tackle the well-known trade-off between dialog response relevance and policy effectiveness in visual dialog generation. We propose a new machine learning procedure that alternates from supervised learning and reinforcement learning to optimum language generation and policy planning jointly in visual dialogs. We will also cover some recent ongoing work on image synthesis through dialogs, and generating social multimodal dialogs with a blend of GIF and words.



Zhou Yu is an Assistant Professor at the Computer Science Department at UC Davis. She received her PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017.  Zhou is interested in building robust and multi-purpose dialog systems using fewer data points and less annotation. She also works on language generation, vision and language tasks. Zhou’s work on persuasive dialog systems received an ACL 2019 best paper nomination recently. Zhou was featured in Forbes as 2018 30 under 30 in Science for her work on multimodal dialog systems. Her team recently won the 2018 Amazon Alexa Prize on building an engaging social bot for a $500,000 cash award.


 LCSR Seminar Video Link

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering

3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-2608

Laboratory for Computational Sensing + Robotics