Nasrin Mostafazadeh

New York, NY
Email: nasrinm [at] cs [dot] rochester [dot] edu

I am a senior AI research scientist at Elemental Cognition where I work on the next generation of AI systems that not only comprehend stories, but also explain their reasoning and answer 'why' (we are hiring!). I am active in the AI startup scene and I am a big believer in the power of sustainable startups disrupting different sectors through AI. I got my PhD at the Computer Science department of University of Rochester, with my thesis titled "From Event to Story Understanding". At Rochester, I worked under James F. Allen in Conversational Interaction and Spoken Dialogue Research Group. After graduation, I joined BenevolentAI lab in NYC as a senior research scientist to use NLP and AI for accelerating scientific discovery for major diseases. Before that, I spent about a year at Microsoft Research Redmond working on various Vision & Language problems and one summer at Google NYC working on Sentiment Analysis. I've got my bachelor's degree from Sharif University of Technology in 2012 where I was a member of NLP lab. I graduated from Farzanegan high school where I started my work in NLP and AI. For more detailes, please refer to my CV.

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I'm interested in building intelligent systems which can understand the language (hopefully deeply!). I mainly model language in terms of 'events' and how they interact with each other in time, with applications ranging from story generation to vision & language. Deep language understanding, which enables inference and commonsense reasoning, requires systems that have large amounts of knowledge enabling them to connect natural language to the concepts of the world. A part of my work concerns developing approaches for learning semantically rich knowledge bases on semantically-rich narrative structures.

Recent Invited Talks

Speaker at ACM NYC, July 2018
Keynote Speaker at the Storytelling Workshop at NAACL 2018, "Event-centric Context Modeling: The Case of Story Comprehension and Story Generation", June 2018 [Slides]
Speaker and Panelist at the VQA and the Visual Dialogue Workshop at CVPR 2018, June 2018, [Slides][CVPR Daily Interivew]
Speaker at Cognitive AI NYC, April 2018
Speaker at Columbia Lean-in Conference, March 2018
Speaker at the NLP Seminar at the Stanford University, November 2018, [Slides]

Publications

Past Events

LSDSem 2017

We organized Linking Models of Lexical, Sentential and Discourse-level Semantics (LSDSem) workshop, with the Story Cloze Test as the shared task. Visit the Shared Task page for more details.

QA TempEval 2015

We organized Question Answering Temporal Evaluation (QA TempEval) as the task 5 at SemEval-2015, continuing the TempEval series. Visit the page for more details.

Thought bubble! Quite a long time ago, I got interested in Computational Linguistics when I read about Noam Chomsky's theory of Innate Universal Grammar, when I was amazed by how language capability (seemingly the easiest for human) is the hardest to achieve for a robot (which could readily prove things like geometry theorems, which seemed harder to me at the time!). After you watch this video, don't you wish we had NLP systems which could actually tell us 'why', going beyond recognizing patterns and classifying things? and of course the question is how...