Daniela Inclezan creates a program that thinks

Daniela Inclezan's work in AI changes the way computers understandDaniela Inclezan's work
in AI changes the way  
computers understand     
Daniela Inclezan is changing the way computers understand human scenarios.

The assistant professor in the computer science and software engineering department researches artificial intelligence. Her specialty is called knowledge representation and reasoning.

She takes stories written in English and encodes them into a logic-based computer language. She feeds these encodings together with a background knowledge base and reasoning programs into the computer. Then she asks the computer questions to see if it understands the story.

Previous researchers created a similar program and fed it stories about people in restaurants. The program could answer questions about the stories most of the time. However, the program did not understand scenarios when things went wrong, such as a customer receiving the wrong food. The computer could only understand what was “supposed” to occur.

Inclezan’s research found a solution to this problem.

She discovered that the program could understand the “wrong” scenarios if it considered each character individually instead of as connected in one scenario.

In the future, Inclezan will work on increasing the types of scenarios this program can understand. She is also developing a method to computerize the process of translating English stories into computer code, which is currently done by hand.

By Paige Smith