Chad DeChant


Twitter: @chaddechant

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PhD candidate, Computer Science Department
Columbia University
MA, Government, Institute for International Law and Politics
Georgetown University
BA, Philosophy
Georgetown University
I am a PhD candidate at Columbia working at the intersection of natural language processing and robotics, advised by Daniel Bauer. My goal is to apply cognitive science research to make AI safe, reliable, and interpretable.
My thesis work is on enabling robots to remember and report on their past actions in natural language through summaries and question answering. I believe that this ability is an essential one both for training robots and other agents to better understand their environments and for ensuring safe and understandable agent behavior.
I have also worked on artificial metacognition (i.e. thinking about thinking, especially knowing what we know), learning word representations in the order a child learns words, improving robotic grasping techniques by learning to 'imagine' parts of objects that are hidden, and detecting crop disease from field imagery.
I created and taught a course for Columbia undergraduates on AI Safety, Ethics, and Policy.

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