Beating Common Sense into Interactive Applications

Speaker: Henry Lieberman , MIT Media Lab

Date: Friday, February 13, 2004

Time: 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM

Refreshments: 1:15 PM

Public: Yes

Location: NE43/941

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Contact: David Huynh, 617.452.5041,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: Beating Common Sense into Interactive Applications


A long-standing dream of artificial intelligence has been to put common sense knowledge into computers-enabling machines to reason about everyday life. Some projects, such as Cyc, have begun to amass large collections of such knowledge. However, it is widely assumed that the use of common sense in interactive applications will remain impractical for years, until these collections can be considered sufficiently complete and common sense reasoning sufficiently robust.

Recently, at the MIT Media Lab, we have had some success in applying common sense knowledge in a number of intelligent Interface Agents, despite the admittedly spotty coverage and unreliable inference of today's common sense knowledge systems. This talk will survey several of these applications and reflect on interface design principles that enable successful use of common sense knowledge.


Henry Lieberman is a Research Scientist at the MIT Media Lab, where he directs the Software Agents group. His interests are at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction. Some topics of his current interest are applying Common Sense knowledge to interactive applications, Programming by Example, proactive and learning agent interfaces, AI Programming environments, Debugging, Visualization, and educational applications.

He has edited the books, Your Wish is My Command: Programming by Example (2001); Spinning the Semantic Web (2003) ; and has a forthcoming book on End-User Development.

He was a Research Scientist at the MIT AI Lab from 1975-1987, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Paris, 1989-91.

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See other events that are part of the HCI Seminar Series Spring 2004.

Created by Linda L. Julien Email at Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 6:21 AM.