IARPA Director Visits ISI and Receives AI Update

May 15, 2011

Dr. Lisa Porter, Director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), and several program directors visited ISI on May 11, 2011, as part of a tour of the West Coast.

Dr. Porter gave an overview of IARPA mission and needs. She described the foci of the three offices within IARPA and IARPA's emphasis on high-risk, high-payoff research. She stressed that this does not imply taking a gamble because they always try to find the best people to do the work. She described their open announcements, and mentioned that IARPA currently funds work at more than 100 universities around the country.

Yigal Arens, Director of the Intelligent System Division and ISI Deputy Director, started the discussion with an overview of ISI and its research on artificial intelligence that is of relevance to IARPA.
Craig Knoblock presented his current work on information integration in the IARPA Knowledge Discovery and Dissemination program.
Yolanda Gil discussed the need for provenance infrastructure in open information systems.
Eduard Hovy described work on information extraction, learning by reading, and natural language analysis of social media.
Jerry Hobbs discussed work on machine reading through abduction and reasoning.
Kevin Knight and Daniel Marcu presented their work on automatic translation of human languages.
Kristina Lerman and Aram Galstyan gave a presentation on their work on information-theoretic approaches to modeling social networks and media.
Nadeesha Ranasinghe, a PhD student in Wei-Min Shen's laboratory, gave a presentation of their work on self-reconfigurable and self-healing systems through surprise-based learning, followed by a demonstration.

"The visit proved very useful to ISI researchers in learning about the research concerns and funding possibilities at IARPA, and gave the ISI researchers a chance to inform Dr. Porter about the latest efforts in AI," said participant Hobbs.