Ph.D student, University of Washington. Department of Computer Science & Engineering.
bhixon at cs dot washington dot edu
I'm a graduate student in CSE at UW. I'm supported by a NSF graduate research fellowship. My CV.
- Summer 2014: I interned at AI2 with Peter Clark. We worked on building knowledge graphs for Question Answering through conversational interaction.
- March 2013: I was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.
- September 2012: I started my Ph.D at UW, working with Oren
Etzioni and the Open IE group on relation extraction and dialog interfaces for machine reading.
- Summer 2012: I interned at Columbia University's Center for Computational Learning
Systems. I worked with Becky Passonneau on portable dialog management (using the same
dialog manager for different domains).
- May 2012: I graduated from Hunter College CUNY with a BA in computer science. I worked with Susan Epstein on machine learning for spoken dialog and recommender systems.
My research interests
- In general: Natural language processing, machine learning, information extraction, machine reading, dialog.
- In particular: Interactive language learning and semantic parsing, dialog interfaces for open-domain machine reading and question-answering, and conversational search over large knowledge bases.
- Ben Hixon, Peter Clark, and Hannaneh Hajishirzi. (2015). Learning knowledge graphs for question answering through conversational dialog. To be presented at the 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (NAACL 2015), Denver, Colorado. May 31 - June 5, 2015.
- Ben Hixon and Rebecca Passonneau. (2013). Open Dialogue Management for Relational Databases. Presented at the 2013 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (NAACL 2013). Atlanta, Georgia. June 10-12, 2013.
- Susan Epstein, Eric Osisek, Ben Hixon, and Rebecca Passonneau. (2012). Similarity and Plausible Recommendations. First Annual Conference on Advances in Cognitive Systems. Palo Alto, California, December 6-8, 2012.
- Ben Hixon, Rebecca Passonneau, and Susan Epstein. (2012). Semantic Specificity in
Spoken Dialogue Requests. 13th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue. Seoul, South Korea, July 5-6, 2012.
- Ben Hixon, Eric Schneider, and Susan Epstein (2011). Phonemic
similarity metrics to compare pronunciation methods. Interspeech 2011. Florence,
Italy. 28-31 August 2011. WPSM (built with cmudict)
What motivates my research?
- Computers that learn language. Or, this, but with machine learning:
We walked down the path to the well-house, attracted by the fragrance of the honeysuckle with which it was covered. Some one was drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool stream gushed over one hand she spelled into the other the word water, first slowly, then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten--a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that "w-a-t-e-r" meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away.
I left the well-house eager to learn. Everything had a name, and each name gave birth to a new thought. As we returned to the house every object which I touched seemed to quiver with life. That was because I saw everything with the strange, new sight that had come to me.
--Helen Keller, The Story of My Life
- John Searle says Watson doesn't know it won Jeopardy because Watson doesn't have intentionality. Does the Chinese Room argument really disprove AI, or does it just prove that humans don't have intentionality either?