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Yuwei Bao earns Weinberg Fellowship for research in cognitive science

Bao's work extends the rational speech acts model to AI agents that can generate pragmatically informed language.
Yuwei Bao
Yuwei Bao

Yuwei Bao, CSE PhD student working with Prof. Joyce Chai, has been selected as a recipient of a Fall 2021 fellowship from the Weinberg Institute of Cognitive Science. The fellowship is part of the Institute’s ongoing support for students in CSE’s Artificial Intelligence Lab doing research in cognitive science, and will support Bao’s work in this field as well as in natural language processing and machine learning.

Bao’s current research focuses on situated language communication with pragmatic inference and rational speech acts. 

Human language communication is a collaborative process. What partners know about each other – called the theory of mind – and their shared beliefs and knowledge shape how they communicate with each other and their use of language in communication. There is a large body of literature from cognitive science that studies how the theory of mind influences human language communication. 

Bao’s work extends the rational speech acts model to AI agents that can generate pragmatically informed language. This involves doing things like taking into account mismatched knowledge and representations between the speaker and the listener.

Bao is also an active advocate for women in engineering, first generation college students, transfer students, and international students. In the past year, Bao has served as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair for the Computer Science and Engineering Graduate Student Organization. She collaborates with many DEI efforts across the campus, voices students’ concerns in regular faculty meetings, and participates in policy making to improve the department climate.

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