by Aaron Aupperlee | Monday, April 12, 2021

Speech processing research is at a high right now, with virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, Google and others always listening and willing to help.

But without a keen eye — or ear — for who this technology aims to assist, interest could wane, said Maxine Eskenazi, a Carnegie Mellon University researcher in the School of Computer Science who has worked on speech processing and spoken dialogue systems for decades.

"We need to stop focusing on the agent and start focusing on the user," Eskenazi said. "It's only a... Read More

by Bryan Burtner | Friday, February 19, 2021

The Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (ACM SIGIR) announced recently that Language Technologies Institute Interim Director and Professor Jamie Callan is one of the inaugural inductees into its new ACM SIGIR Academy.  The ACM SIGIR Academy honors and recognizes individuals who have made significant, cumulative contributions to the development of the field of information retrieval (IR).  Inductees to the SIGIR Academy are the principal leaders in IR, whose efforts have shaped the... Read More

References to Chess Piece Colors Can Trigger Alarm
by Byron Spice | Thursday, February 18, 2021

"The Queen's Gambit," the recent TV mini-series about a chess master, may have stirred increased interest in chess, but a word to the wise: social media talk about game-piece colors could lead to misunderstandings, at least for hate-speech detection software.

That's what a pair of Carnegie Mellon University researchers suspect happened to Antonio Radić, or "agadmator," a Croatian chess player who hosts a popular YouTube channel. Last June, his account was blocked for "harmful and dangerous" content.

YouTube never provided an explanation and reinstated the channel within 24... Read More

by Byron Spice | Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Three Carnegie Mellon University research teams have received funding through the Program on Fairness in Artificial Intelligence, which the National Science Foundation sponsors in partnership with Amazon. The program supports computational research focused on fairness in AI, with the goal of building trustworthy AI systems that can be deployed to tackle grand challenges facing society.

"There have been increasing concerns over biases in AI systems, for example computer vision algorithms working worse for Blacks than for other races, or ads for higher paying jobs only being shown to... Read More

A Virtual Celebration of His Life and Work
Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Jaime Carbonell foresaw a world where people could freely communicate with each other, no matter what language they spoke. He knew that making this dream a reality would require automation, so he spent his career building systems that could understand human language.

Carbonell, 66, died February 28, 2020, following an extended illness. He was the Allen Newell Professor of Computer Science and had earned the distinction of University Professor, the highest academic accolade CMU faculty can attain. He also founded and directed the Center for Machine Translation, which later became the... Read More

LTI Study Questions Influential Duchenne Smile Hypothesis
by Byron Spice | Tuesday, February 9, 2021

A smile that lifts the cheeks and crinkles the eyes is thought by many to be truly genuine. But new research at Carnegie Mellon University casts doubt on whether this joyful facial expression necessarily tells others how a person really feels inside.

In fact, these "smiling eye" smiles, called Duchenne smiles, seem to be related to smile intensity, rather than acting as an indicator of whether a person is happy or not, said Jeffrey Girard, a former post-doctoral researcher at CMU's ... Read More

by Byron Spice | Tuesday, February 9, 2021

CMU students all get their kicks
By building apps that attract mass clicks
So they teamed up in class
Built an AI with sass
That wrote them a book full of lim'ricks.

... Read More
37 Main Conference and 19 Findings Papers Accepted from LTI-Affiliated Authors
by Bryan Burtner | Friday, November 20, 2020

An impressive 46 papers by LTI faculty and students were accepted at the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), including 37 main conference accepted papers and 19 papers accepted to the newly added Findings publication.

Organized by the Association for Computational Linguisitcs, and now in its 25th year, EMNLP is one of the premier conferences worldwide in the fields of Natual Language Processing and Computational Linguistics. This year's conference was held virtually November 16-20... Read More

by Byron Spice | Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Alex Waibel, who holds faculty appointments in both the Language Technologies Institute and at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany, reports that his German lab has developed a computer system that for the first time outperforms people in recognizing conversational speech.

It's difficult even for people to accurately transcribe conversations, Waibel said. "When people talk to each... Read More

Machine Translation Tools Find Word Meanings Vary Based on News Viewership
by Byron Spice | Wednesday, October 21, 2020

It's not news that U.S. politics are highly polarized or that polarization affects cable news channels. But researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, using computer translation tools in an unprecedented way, have found that even the meanings of some words are now polarized.

Everyone is speaking English, they said, yet the computer analysis of social media discussions shows viewers of different news channels are, in a sense, speaking different languages.

Based on millions of user comments on the YouTube channels for four leading cable news outlets, it seems that viewers of... Read More