NIPS Workshop on Learning Semantics – Call for Abstracts

NIPS 2011 Workshop
Melia Sierra Nevada & Melia Sol y Nieve, Sierra Nevada, Spain.
Saturday December 17, 2011.


A key ambition of AI is to render computers able to evolve in and
interact with the real world. This can be made possible only if the
machine is able to produce a correct interpretation of its available
modalities (image, audio, text, …), upon which it would then build a
reasoning to take appropriate actions. Computational linguists use the
term “semantics” to refer to the possible interpretations (concepts)
of natural language expressions, and showed some interest in “learning
semantics”, that is finding (in an automated way) these
interpretations. However, “semantics” are not restricted to natural
language modality, and are also pertinent for speech or vision
modalities. Hence, knowing visual concepts and common relationships
between them would certainly bring a leap forward in scene analysis
and in image parsing akin to the improvement that language phrase
interpretations would bring to data mining, information extraction or
automatic translation, to name a few.

Progress in learning semantics has been slow mainly because this
involves sophisticated models which are hard to train, especially
since they seem to require large quantities of precisely annotated
training data. However, recent advances in learning with weak and
limited supervision lead to the emergence of a new body of research in
semantics based on multi-task/transfer learning, on learning with
semi/ambiguous supervision or even with no supervision at all.
The goal of this workshop is to explore these new directions and,
in particular, to investigate the following questions:

* How should meaning representations be structured to be easily
interpretable by a computer and still express rich and complex knowledge?
* What is a realistic supervision setting for learning semantics? How
can we learn sophisticated representations with limited supervision?
* How can we jointly infer semantics from several modalities?


Chris Burges – Microsoft
Pedro Domingos – University of Washington
Derek Hoiem – UIUC
Raymond Mooney – UT at Austin
Richard Socher – Stanford University
Josh Tenenbaum – MIT


– Submission deadline: 23:59 EST, Monday, September 26, 2011.
– Acceptance notification: Friday, October 21, 2011.
– Workshop date: Saturday, December 17, 2011.


We solicit submission of abstracts to the workshop. Abstracts should
be at most 2 pages long in the NIPS format (excluding references).
Selected abstracts will be presented as posters during a morning and
an afternoon sessions. Submissions should be sent by email to
antoine.bordes(at) .

Abstracts should be sent no later than 23:59 EST, Monday, September 26, 2011.


Antoine Bordes – CNRS – UT Compiègne
Jason Weston – Google
Ronan Collobert – IDIAP
Léon Bottou – Microsoft