For fundamental contributions to research in natural language processing and in multi-agent systems, for her leadership in the field of artificial intelligence, and for her role in the establishment and leadership of interdisciplinary institutions. Barbara Grosz's contributions to natural language processing center around the nature of discourse structure in language. Her research shows how discourse has identifiable structure at least as rich as that found at the sentence level, demonstrating the influence of discourse structure on such varied phenomena as forms of reference, intonational patterns, syntactic form, and cue-phrase selection. Within the area of multi-agent systems, Professor Grosz's research centers around the development of conceptual and architectural constructs that support joint action in multi-agent collaboration. She has contributed theoretical results as well as implemented systems, such as Colored Trails, that have been adopted by many others for their research. This work is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on theories and results from economics, philosophy, psychology, and core computer science. Professor Grosz has played a leadership role within the field of artificial intelligence, serving as AAAI President, IJCAI Chair, and on the governing board of AAMAS. She has also had a profound effect on interdisciplinary institutions with which she has been affiliated. She was a co-founder in 1983 of the Center for the Study of Language and Information, a joint effort of Stanford University, SRI, and Xerox PARC, which became a premier institution in the interdisciplinary areas of computational linguistics and symbolic systems. As the first dean of science at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Grosz developed a highly successful science program that fosters engagements with scientific communities at Harvard and attracts leading laboratory scientists as well as theorists from all scientific fields and from all parts of the world to Radcliffe's fellowship program. As dean of the Radcliffe Institute, she has been working with faculty from other Harvard schools to build multidisciplinary collaborations crossing the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.
For contributions to the study of human discourse.
Artificial Intelligence Collaborative Planning and Human-Computer Communication
Professor Grosz’s research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) aims to develop the capabilities needed for computer-agent systems to function as intelligent, helpful team members over the long term and in uncertain, dynamic environments. It aspires to understand thinking and intelligence in ways that enable the construction of computer systems capable of acting intelligently and to inform the design of such systems. Professor Grosz’s contributions to AI include pioneering research in natural language processing and in theories of multi-agent collaboration and their application to human-computer interaction.
Professor Grosz’s groundbreaking contributions to the field of natural-language processing include developing the first computational theories of natural-language dialogue and demonstrating their usefulness in spoken language systems. Her contributions to multi-agent systems include development of the first computational model of collaboration and, with her students, design of novel algorithms for information sharing in support of teamwork. This work has provided foundations for constructing systems able to communicate fluently with people and to work well with each other and their users. Such capabilities are essential for systems to be helpful assistants and partners on achieving users’ goals. Her research group has used the models developed in this research to design algorithms for improving health care coordination and science education.
A member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Philosophical Society, Professor Grosz is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Association for Computational Linguistics, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a corresponding fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She received the 2009 ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award, the 2015 IJCAI Award for Research Excellence, and the 2017 Association for Computational Linguistics Lifetime Achievement Award.
Professor Grosz is known for her role in the establishment and leadership of interdisciplinary institutions She co-founded Stanford’s Center for the Study of Language and Information and was founding dean of science and then dean of Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which developed the Academic Ventures Program under her leadership. She co-founded Harvard's Embedded Ethics program, which integrates teaching of ethical reasoning into core computer science courses.
Professor Grosz is also known for her contributions to the advancement of women in science. She chaired Harvard FAS’s Standing Committee on Women, producing the 1990 Report on Women in Science. She subsequently chaired the 2005 Harvard Task Force on Women in Science and Engineering, producing a report comprehensive in its coverage of all Harvard schools and all levels of participation in the academy from undergraduate students to senior faculty.
Professor Grosz serves on the boards of several scientific, scholarly and academic institutions. She is a member of the External Faculty of Santa Fe Institute.