Allen C. Benson, Writer, Photographer, Librarian


Research Statement

My research centers on photography, language, and AI. With photography and language, I am mostly concerned with descriptions: How humans use language to describe events and states of affairs represented in photographs; what we can know about photographs if descriptions are all we are given; and how descriptions and their contexts shape the information we receive when viewing photographs. With AI, my chief concern is knowledge representation and how we can symbolically represent and reason over descriptions in computers.

With at least minimal correspondence between the photographs we save in archives and their descriptions, expectations are my work will help improve researchers’ ability to find, with higher degrees of accuracy, photographs sought within large collections.

My current project is OntoPhoto, ontology of the photograph, which depends on Scone knowledge-base system for its architecture, representation, and for default reasoning with exceptions. I carry out this work with Scott E. Fahlman, Professor Emeritus, Language Technologies Institute and Department of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, and Jacob Migdail-Smith, doctoral student in Mathematics, Syracuse University.

© 2017 Allen C. Benson. All Rights Reserved