Invited Talk by Michael Zock
Talk Title: The Striker’s Fear at the Penalty, or Why Intelligence is Not Everything
Shooting a penalty, giving a talk, or reacting appropriately in case of danger are complex tasks requiring skill and knowledge, but that’s not everything. They also require the ability to control the body and the mind which may demand their toll. Take for example speech production. Fatigue, strong emotions or lack of attention my result in stuttering, speech errors, disfluencies, or even silence (tip-of-the tongue problem). Speaking and listening are generally a holistic experience involving way more than just our mind. Successful planning and execution require the concerned persons (actors, speakers or strikers) to be able to control and to align their emotions, their body, and their mind.
I will deal here with language production and when it goes wrong. More specifically, I will address the following two questions during my talk:
· What kinds of qualities does an output need to have to be understandable by others than the language producer?
· How can machines be made aware of peoples’ needs, to provide them then the needed information?
Concerning the first question, I believe that machines need to speak like ‘normal’ people do. Hence, their outputs must not only be well-formed, but also be relevant and at the right level. In addition, in order to be acceptable, they must also be in the right tone. I will illustrate some of these constraints for the ‘generation of referring expressions’.
Concerning the second question, I will deal with the problem of word access. More precisely, I will address the tip-of-the tongue problem, a situation where the author (speaker/writer) recalls parts of the target (some phonemes or syllables) or some related information (associations) but fails to recollect the entire lexical form. I will present then a roadmap, showing the steps to be undertaken to enable a machine to help authors (speaker/writer) to produce the eluding word.
Michael Zock is emeritus research director at the CNRS and Honorary Professor of the Research Institute of Information and Language Processing (University of Wolverhampton, UK). Starting his research career in the 80s at LIMSI, an A.I. lab close to Paris, he joined 2006 the NLP group of LIF (now LIS-lab) at the university of Aix-Marseille.
He has published extensively in the area of computational linguistics or cognitive science (nearly 250 international publications in books, magazines or conferences), and he has edited several books and special issues on natural language generation, lexical resources, electronic dictionaries and Computer Assisted Language Learning. The focus of his recent research has been on outline planning (help authors to perceive possible links between their ideas in order to produce coherent discourse), lexical access (help authors to find an elusive word by taking into account certain features of the mental lexicon), and the acquisition of basic speaking skills: help students to become quickly fluent in a foreign language by learning the basic vocabulary and syntactic structures (learn words in context). For more details, see http://pageperso.lif.univ-mrs.fr/~michael.zock/