CS&E Colloquium: Attention in Vision-based AI Systems

The computer science colloquium takes place on Mondays from 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

This week's speaker, Catherine Qi Zhao (University of Minnesota; a member of the data science faculty), will be giving a talk titled "Attention in Vision-based AI Systems".


Imagine that you are at a bus stop in a new city. You take a few glimpses around, parse and summarize the information you gather, and decide the next steps. Although intuitive, it implies a highly sophisticated and superior ability to select and parse information. Our research is along this line to develop and utilize machine attention for AI systems. In this talk, I will discuss the challenges and share the recent innovations in data, models, and applications from our research.

I will first talk about attention prediction - the ability of machines to find the most relevant information. I will elaborate on our computational models and experimental methods for attention prediction and explain how they have advanced the state-of-the-art. I will then discuss new approaches that leverage attention in computer vision and language tasks, leading to better interpretability and task performance. I will also present preliminary data suggesting that this approach can help reveal and improve the black-box decision-making process of learning-based AI systems. Finally, I will discuss the applications of our models and data in healthcare. I will give two examples where our work leads to the discovery of neurobehavioral signature in autism patients, as well as cutting-edge brain-machine interface technology that restores the lost motor functions in upper-limb amputee patients.


Catherine Qi Zhao is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Zhao’s research interests are in computer vision and machine learning, and their applications in healthcare. Her current research on machine attention is supported by NSF and NIH. Dr. Zhao has published more than 80 papers in computer vision and machine learning venues, and other major multidisciplinary journals. Her research has been featured as a cover article at Neuron and Neural Computation, and as oral presentations at CVPR, ICCV, and ECCV. Dr. Zhao is an Area Chair at several premier computer vision conferences and an Associate Editor at TNNLS.

CS&E colloquium
Start date
Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, 11:15 a.m.
End date
Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, 12:15 p.m.

Online - Zoom link