Dr. James Allen named fellow by Association for Computational Linguistics

IHMC Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist Dr. James Allen has earned another accolade in his long and distinguished career in natural language understanding and research.

University of Rochester computer science professor James Allen in the computer studies building July 08, 2011. //photo: J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester

Allen in December 2022 was named a fellow by the Association for Computational Linguistics. He was one of eight leaders in the field to be so recognized by ACL, a leading professional organization in the study of computational language processing — a field Allen has helped pioneer.

The nominating committee recognized Allen, who is also a professor emeritus at the University of Rochester where he has been on the faculty since 1978, “for significant contributions to natural language dialogue research, planning and plan recognition.”

Allen’s research concerns defining computational models of intelligent collaborative and conversational agents that can interact effectively with humans in a wide range of problem-solving and analysis tasks.

His research is unique in that it combines what often are treated as separate fields in artificial intelligence. Those fields include knowledge representation and reasoning, language understanding, planning, intention recognition, and learning. Allen’s system is a high-performance generic collaborative agent that can be rapidly adapted to new problem-solving domains.

Computational linguistics is the science at the root of speech recognition systems, text-to-speech synthesizers, automated voice-response systems, internet search engines, text editors, language instruction material and more.

Allen joined IHMC in 2006. Since earning his Ph.D. in computer science in 1979 from the University of Toronto and receiving the Presidential Young Investigator award from the National Science Foundation in 1984, Allen has built an international reputation as a leader in AI and collaborative human-machine interaction.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer technologies aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. For more information, visit ihmc.us.