Barzilay Featured as Innovator by Bloomberg Businessweek
September 23, 2011
CSAIL Professor Regina Barzilay’s work has been a driving force for change in developing computer systems that can comprehend natural human language and not just code.
“I want to see the computer benefit directly from human knowledge, without having a person in the middle who does a translation,” said Barzilay, during an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek.
Barzilay’s latest research involves an attempt to make computers better listeners by having them play computer games, in particular Civilization. Barzilay developed a software program with no understanding of how to play the game, and then provided the program a manual so that it could read and learn about the game. Reading the manual allowed the program to learn the nuances of human language. Results of the study had Barzilay’s program winning Civilization 79% of the time, as opposed to a similar program, with no access to a manual, winning 46% of the time.
Barzilay explained that her interest in developing computer systems with natural language comprehension stems from own experience learning Hebrew and English after emigrating from Moldavia.
For more on Barzilay’s work, check out the Businessweek article here.