In the area of natural language processing systems, we seek to develop a class of task-oriented natural language processors that enable a human and machine to collaborate efficiently in problem solving. We emphasize the importance of fast, convenient communication with many interactions per minute using multimode input (voice, typing, and touch screen) and output (synthesized voice and video screen). Our work primarily concentrates on the development of theories of semantics appropriate for such systems with particular emphasis on mechanisms for handling complex noun-phrase resolution, focusing mechanisms, dialogue comprehension and user models.
In order to test theories, we continuously build natural language interactive systems and study their performance in typical problem-solving situations with human subjects. This experimental work provides examples of human-machine dialogue for study and yields data related to the achieved level of efficiency.
Click on Voice and Natural Language Laboratory for more information about Computational Linguistics at Duke University.
Click on Office of Naval Research project.