Rethinking Modern Programming Tools with Human-Centered Intelligence

Friday, August 27, 2021, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PDTiCal
Virtual via Zoom WebinarThis event is open to the public.
AI Seminar
Tianyi Zhang (Purdue University)
Video Recording:

AI Seminar Series

Seminars for the Artificial Intelligence Division at USC Information Sciences Institute

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As computation is woven into our everyday life, more people want or need to write code. But programming is hard, especially for novice programmers and computer end-users. Over the years, many intelligent tools have been invented to automate the programming workflow. However, recent studies have shown that the cost of automation often outweighs its benefit and, more importantly, people may have trust issues in automation.
In this talk, I will describe how we can overcome those limits by augmenting intelligent tools with human-centered interaction mechanisms. I will first demonstrate how we can redesign code mining techniques to help users explore the long tail of code patterns in the wild, instead of just the top K common patterns, to build comprehensive programming knowledge. Then, I will describe how we can redesign existing program synthesizers with enriched feedback loops and interpretability, so users can build a more accurate mental model of the underlying synthesis process and provide strategic feedback to guide the synthesizer. Finally, I will conclude my talk with future directions about supporting human-centered intelligence for more activities and domain experts.


Tianyi Zhang is an assistant professor in computer science at Purdue University, starting from Fall 2021. He develops interactive systems that augment human intelligence with data-driven insights and augment machine intelligence with human guidance, with a particular focus on improving programming productivity. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard SEAS. He obtained his PhD from UCLA CS and received the UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship. His work has been adopted by Huawei and Facebook and has also been recognized with a Best Paper Honorable Mention Award from SIGCHI.

Host: Muhao Chen, POC: Pete Zamar

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