Workshop
Emergent Communication: Towards Natural Language
Abhinav Gupta · Michael Noukhovitch · Cinjon Resnick · Natasha Jaques · Angelos Filos · Marie Ossenkopf · Angeliki Lazaridou · Jakob Foerster · Ryan Lowe · Douwe Kiela · Kyunghyun Cho

Sat Dec 14th 08:00 AM -- 06:00 PM @ West 118 - 120
Event URL: https://sites.google.com/view/emecom2019 »

Communication is one of the most impressive human abilities but historically it has been studied in machine learning on confined datasets of natural language, and by various other fields in simple low-dimensional spaces. Recently, with the rise of deep RL methods, the questions around the emergence of communication can now be studied in new, complex multi-agent scenarios. Two previous successful workshops (2017, 2018) have gathered the community to discuss how, when, and to what end communication emerges, producing research that was later published at top ML venues such as ICLR, ICML, AAAI. Now, we wish to extend these ideas and explore a new direction: how emergent communication can become more like natural language, and what natural language understanding can learn from emergent communication.

The push towards emergent natural language is a necessary and important step in all facets of the field. For studying the evolution of human language, emerging a natural language can uncover the requirements that spurred crucial aspects of language (e.g. compositionality). When emerging communication for multi-agent scenarios, protocols may be sufficient for machine-machine interactions, but emerging a natural language is necessary for human-machine interactions. Finally, it may be possible to have truly general natural language understanding if agents learn the language through interaction as humans do. To make this progress, it is necessary to close the gap between artificial and natural language learning.

To tackle this problem, we want to take an interdisciplinary approach by inviting researchers from various fields (machine learning, game theory, evolutionary biology, linguistics, cognitive science, and programming languages) to participate and engaging them to unify the differing perspectives. We believe that the third iteration of this workshop with a novel, unexplored goal and strong commitment to diversity will allow this burgeoning field to flourish.

08:00 AM Posters <span> <a href="#"></a> </span>
Travis LaCroix, Marie Ossenkopf, Mina Lee, Nicole Fitzgerald, Daniela Mihai, Jonathon Hare, Ali Zaidi, Alexander Cowen-Rivers, Noam Brown, Alana Marzoev, Eugene Kharitonov, Luyao Yuan, Tomasz Korbak, Paul Pu Liang, Yi Ren, Roberto Dessì, Peter Potash, Shangmin Guo, Tatsunori Hashimoto, Percy Liang, Julian Zubek, Zipeng Fu, Song-Chun Zhu
08:55 AM Intro Remarks (Remarks)
09:00 AM Invited Talk - 1 (Talk) Ted Gibson
09:45 AM Contributed Talk - 1 (Talk) Mina Lee
10:00 AM Coffee Break / Poster Session (Poster Session)
10:30 AM Invited Talk - 2 (Talk) Noga Zaslavsky
11:15 AM Contributed Talk - 2 (Talk) Alexander Cowen-Rivers
11:30 AM Spotlight presentations x5 (Spotlight)
02:00 PM Invited Talk - 3 (Talk) Jason Eisner
02:45 PM Contributed Talk - 3 (Talk) Noam Brown
03:00 PM Invited Talk - 4 (Talk) Jacob Andreas
03:45 PM Coffee Break / Poster Session (Poster Session)
04:15 PM Invited Talk - 5 (Talk) Stefan Lee
05:00 PM Panel Discussion <span> <a href="#"></a> </span>
05:55 PM Closing Remarks (Remarks)

Author Information

Abhinav Gupta (Mila)
Michael Noukhovitch (Mila (Université de Montréal))

Master's student at MILA supervised by Aaron Courville and co-supervised by Yoshua Bengio

Cinjon Resnick (NYU)
Natasha Jaques (MIT)
Angelos Filos (University of Oxford)
Marie Ossenkopf (University of Kassel)
Angeliki Lazaridou (DeepMind)
Jakob Foerster (Facebook AI Research)

Jakob Foerster is a PhD student in AI at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Shimon Whiteson and Nando de Freitas. Using deep reinforcement learning he studies the emergence of communication in multi-agent AI systems. Prior to his PhD Jakob spent four years working at Google and Goldman Sachs. Previously he has also worked on a number of research projects in systems neuroscience, including work at MIT and the Weizmann Institute.

Ryan Lowe (McGill University)
Douwe Kiela (Facebook AI Research)
Kyunghyun Cho (New York University)

Kyunghyun Cho is an associate professor of computer science and data science at New York University and a research scientist at Facebook AI Research. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Université de Montréal until summer 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Yoshua Bengio, and received PhD and MSc degrees from Aalto University early 2014 under the supervision of Prof. Juha Karhunen, Dr. Tapani Raiko and Dr. Alexander Ilin. He tries his best to find a balance among machine learning, natural language processing, and life, but almost always fails to do so.

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