Naturalizing a programming language

Seminar on Theoretical Machine Learning
Topic:Naturalizing a programming language
Speaker:Sida Wang
Affiliation:Visitor, School of Mathematics
Date:Monday, November 6
Time/Room:12:30pm - 1:45pm/White-Levy Room

Our goal is to create a convenient natural language interface for performing well-specified but complex actions such as analyzing data, manipulating text, and querying databases. However, existing natural language interfaces for such tasks are quite primitive compared to the power one wields with a programming language. To bridge this gap, we start with a core programming language and allow users to "naturalize" the core language incrementally by defining alternative, more natural syntax and increasingly complex concepts in terms of compositions of simpler ones. In a voxel world, we show that a community of users can simultaneously teach a common system a diverse language and use it to build hundreds of complex voxel structures. Over the course of three days, these users went from using only the core language to using the naturalized language in 85.9% of the last 10K utterances.