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Using Deep Learning to Understand Creative Language
Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 11:00 am-12:00 pm Calendar
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Creative language—the sort found in novels, film, and comics—contains a wide range of linguistic phenomena, from phrasal and sentential syntactic complexity to high-level discourse structures such as narrative and character arcs. In this talk, I explore how we can use deep learning to understand, generate, and answer questions about creative language. I begin by presenting deep neural network models for two tasks involving creative language understanding: 1) modeling dynamic relationships between fictional characters in novels, for which our models achieve higher interpretability and accuracy than existing work; and 2) predicting dialogue and artwork from comic book panels, in which we demonstrate that even state-of-the-art deep models struggle on problems that require commonsense reasoning. Next, I introduce deep models that outperform all but the best human players on quiz bowl, a trivia game that contains many questions about creative language. Shifting to ongoing work, I describe a neural language generation method that disentangles the content of a novel (i.e., the information or story it conveys) from the style in which it is written. Finally, I conclude by integrating my work on deep learning, creative language, and question answering into a future research plan to build conversational agents that are both engaging and useful.

This talk is organized by Naomi Feldman