• Hey, I'm Khyathi Chandu!

    I am a PhD candidate in Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University . I am fortunate to be advised by our very own Dumbledore for NLP, Prof. Alan Black . I also work(ed) with Yonatan Bisk , Prof. Eric Nyberg and Louis-Philippe Morency . I am currently working with Yonatan Bisk and Alan Black on laying a ground work towards building conversations in augmented/virtual reality. Simultaneously, I am also working towards improving structure in long form generation.

    The overarching goal of my research is to enable seamless interaction between intelligent machines and humans. Facilitating multimodal communication is an essential component of this. To this end, I work on controllable language generation with vision and language as input, focussing on content, structure and personality of generated text. I also work on long form generation, like stories and procedures. Towards realizing this, I am working on "Effective Controllability of Multimodal Narrative Intelligence" for my thesis. During my PhD, I spent 2 wonderful summers interning at Google Research and Apple ; and another 2 summers exploring the breadths and depths of NLP.

    Being a multilingual myself, I appreciate how code-switching between languages made my communication and expressiveness easier. I worked on sequence-labelling, question answering and sequence generation tasks for code-switching. I have also led our winning team in the BioASQ challenge in 2018.

    Prior to joining CMU, I completed my under-graduation from IIIT-Hyderabad, India. During this time, I am humbled to be selected as an S.N.Bose Scholar to visit University of Pennsylvania as a research intern.


    • Invited to participate in Rising Stars 2020, Berkeley University.
    • Paper on Infilling for Visual Procedure Telling accepted at EMNLP'20.
    • Organizing Widening NLP'20 and '21, (co-located with ACL 2020 ). Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any feedback/suggestions on how we could improve.
    • Co-chairing Academic Inclusion sub-committee of Diversity and Inclusion efforts at ACL 2020 and ACL 2021. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any suggestions for an improved effort.
    • Recognized as Outstanding Reviewer at ACL 2020
    • Gave a talk on Controllable Multimodal Narrative Generation at Google Research .
    • Gave a talk on Multimodal Narrative Intelligence at Facebook, Menlo Park .
    • Gave a talk on Visual Story and Storyboard Generation at Apple, Cupertino .

Research Publications

Google Scholar Profile
Reading Between the Lines: Exploring Infilling in Visual Narratives
EMNLP 2020

Khyathi Chandu, Ruo-Ping, Alan Black

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Style Variation as a Vantage Point for Code-Switching
InterSpeech 2020

Khyathi Chandu, Alan Black

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Dissecting the components and factors of Neural Text Generation
(to be submitted)

Khyathi Chandu, Alan Black

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Weakly Supervised Content Selection for Improved Image Captioning
(under review)

Khyathi Chandu, Piyush Sharma, Soravit Changpinyo, Ashish Thapliyal, Radu Soricut

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Storyboarding of Recipes: Grounded Contextual Generation
ACL 2019

Khyathi Chandu, Eric Nyberg, Alan Black

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Induction and Reference of Entities in a Visual Story

Khyathi Chandu, Ruo-Ping Dong, Alan Black

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"My Way of Telling a Story": Persona based Grounded Story Generation
Storytelling workshop, ACL 2019

Khyathi Chandu*, Shrimai Prabhumoye*, Ruslan Salakhutdinov, Alan Black

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A Survey of Code-switched Speech and Language Processing
(under review at Computer Speech & Language)

Sunayana Sitaram, Khyathi Chandu, Sai Krishna Rallabandi, Alan Black

Language Informed Modeling of Code-Switched Text

Khyathi Chandu*, Thomas Manzini*, Sumeet Singh*, Alan Black

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Code-Mixed Question Answering Challenge: Crowd-sourcing Data and Techniques

Khyathi Chandu, Ekaterina Loginova, ... , Manoj Chinnakotla, Eric Nyberg, Alan Black

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Tackling Code-Switched NER: Participation of CMU

Parvathy Geetha*, Khyathi Chandu*, Alan Black

Comparative Analysis of Neural QA models on SQuAD
MRQA, ACL 2018

Soumya Wadhwa, Khyathi Chandu, Eric Nyberg

Extraction Meets Abstraction: Ideal Answer Generation for Biomedical Questions
BioAsq, EMNLP 2018

Yutong Li, ... Khyathi Chandu, Eric Nyberg

Ontology-Based Retrieval and Neural Approaches for BioASQ Ideal Answer Generation
BioAsq, EMNLP 2018

Ashwin Nareshkumar*, ..., Khyathi Chandu, Teruko Mitamura, Eric Nyberg

Textually Enriched Neural Module Networks for Visual Question Answering

Khyathi Chandu, Mary Arpita Pyreddy, Matthieu Felix, Narendra Nath Joshi

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WebShodh: A Code Mixed Factoid Question Answering System for Web
CLEF 2017

Khyathi Chandu, Manoj ChinnakotlaAlan W. BlackManish Shrivastava

Speech Synthesis for Mixed-Language Navigation Instructions
InterSpeech 2017

Khyathi Chandu, Sai Krishna Rallabandi, Sunayana Sitaram, Alan Black

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Tackling Biomedical Text Summarization: OAQA at BioASQ 5B
BioAsq, ACL 2017

Khyathi Chandu, Aakanksha Naik, Aditya Chandrasekar, Zi Yang, Niloy Gupta, Eric Nyberg

"nee intention enti?" towards dialog act recognition in code-mixed conversations
International Conference on Asian Language Processing, IALP, 2017

Jitta Divya Sai, Khyathi Chandu, Harsha Pamidipalli, Radhika Mamidi

Building CMU Magnus from User Feedback
Amazon Alexa Challenge Proceedings

Shrimai Prabhumoye*, Fadi Botros*, Khyathi Chandu*, ..., Zhou Yu, Alan Black

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"Answer ka type kya he?" Learning to Classify Questions in Code-Mixed Language
WWW 2015

Khyathi Chandu, Manoj Chinnakotla, Manish Shrivastava

Domain Adaptation in Morphological Analysis
International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, 2015

Prathyusha Kuncham, Khyathi Chandu, Kovida Nelakuditi, Dipti Misra Sharma



Prof Eric Nyberg, Prof Teruko Mitamura

Spring 2018

Prof P J Narayan

  • Spring 2016
  • Spring 2014

Prof Manish Shrivastava

  • Spring 2015

Prof Manish Shrivastava

  • Spring 2015

Prof Bhimalapuram

  • Fall 2013

Invited Talks



Google Research May 2020-Aug 2020

Role: PhD Intern

  • Title: Weakly Supervised Content Selection for Improved Controllability in Image Captioning
  • Proposed a dual-stage transformer model to improve content selection on Conceptual Captions.
  • Our method showed significant improvement in human evaluations in the captions for English and 4 other languages.

Apple (Siri Understanding) May 2019-Aug 2019

Role: Research Intern

  • Title: Named Entity Recognition on Code-Switched Data
  • Attentive soft selection of embedding representations between phonemes and words.
  • Transfer learning approach purely monolingual resources to perform NER and we achieved comparable results to supervised learning.

Boeing Aug 2016-Dec 2017

Role: Graduate Research Assistant

University of Pennsylvania May 2015-Aug 2015

Role: Research Intern

  • Title: Medical abstracts classification for Evidence Based Medicine

IISc Bangalore May 2014

Role: Summer visiting student

  • Undergraduate Summer School Program in Department of Computer Science and Automation (CSA) at IISc Bangalore.
  • Won second place in best project selection based on Machine Learning.
Arts and Sports

In my spare time...

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Since even before I could stroll, he made my support system impregnable and a whole! I was successful in making him laugh with my impatience to gobble up a piece of cake from his hand, instead of posing for a memorable picture.

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My mom is the best cook in the world. No, seriously you have no idea how great my mom is. I am from Hyderabad and I love even the simplest of her rasams more compared to the famous Hyderabadi biryani. She is my friend and also the epitome of patience.

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One of my favourite relationships is being and having a sister. Its the whole package, really - support each other, pull each others' legs, conversing on philosophies of life, cooking, sharing, everything!.

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Be it a Saturday or a Sunday, he is always there for you! I love how our own Dumbledore of LTI is witty, wise and sarcastic. There is a lot to learn from your dedication and calm nature. Of course I am not qualified enough to brag about your research capabilities here. Ranging from throught process of how to choose an interesting problem to doing systematic groundwork to pushing boundaries, I am making a novice apprentice effort in learning all this from you.

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Just like all kids, I have grown up watching Road Runner, Tom and Jerry and Flinstones. Apart from these, the only other reality shows I have watched are dance competitions. Not having a dance teacher close to my home as a kid did not give the opportunity to be trained in dance and I know that's not an excuse. That did not stop me from learning random dance compositions from my seniors in undergrad and performing. Now and then, I still go through numerous free online lessons to learn traditional dance. The feeling you get after learning a sequence of steps and what they mean is amazing. I know I should be more systematic and sincere in learning this art form...

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Well, its raining and my meeting got cancelled. Though the rain had nothing to do with the cancellation, I decided to stay back home. My brain says do something else and I opened YouTube with a movie suggestion. I know my amateur drawing does not resemble her but she happens to be Deepika Padukone.

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Sunday evening chit chats with a friend who did not know the story of Pride and Prejudice... While giving a gist of the story, I wanted to read it again myself. Juggling between other activities, I managed to finish it after around 3 days and then I am in the mood to sketch it along with an awesome remark. Misaligning dialog of Mr Darcy with the frame in the drawing I managed to get make a small sketch.

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I will let you in on a small secret. This is where I am going to admit that I started drawing a face and smudged the corners. Darkening it more and adding a theme turned out to be this. That is not it. When some of my friends saw this, they told me that they love Sachin Tendulkar. Well, who doesn't? But that's not the point. I have not tried to draw him. Turned out to be a happy accident.

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The first time I had to stay away from my home is for my undergraduation. I should not call myself a hostelite as my home was just 12kms away and I would go away to eat my mom's food and sleep in my bed every weekend. Although I still qualify as a psuedo-hostelite since I spent 5 and a half days a week in hostel. These people are my family there. I leanred the power of adjustments, understanding each other and helping each other out. The numerous night outs with both academic stuff and of course random chattering and campus walks discussing topics ranging from the life of a tadpole to deep philosophies of existence are amazing only because of you guys. Complimenting all this is the midnight juice we get from our canteen where I have no idea of the frantic number of chocolate milkshakes that made all this even more blissful.

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The term is derived from the Sanskrit name for Lord Krishna. It means 'One who is as clear as a crystal'. I am fascinated by the phonetics of the word. I have heard someone talk about this name in a temple. It also means that babies have no prejudices or hatred. Their personalities reflect from what is written on their crystal clear hearts and minds. It may be true that a soul strengthens by learning from adversities. But that need not be the case always. We are capable of learning through empathy. Placing ourselves in the shoes of another person comes naturally to us. Understanding, respecting and being welcoming of people around us strengthens us and our community that fills our clean canvas we get as babies with a beautiful painting.

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One of the early drawings I made was to gift a friend. There is no occasion but I know she loves Federer. She knows a lot of technical details of the sport which I learn from discussing with her. I am one of those who like decorating their rooms with personalized stuff that reminds us of a story. I wanted her room also to have a small amateur piece of sketch of the person she adores. Hence it all began ...

Get in Touch


5501 Gates Hillman Complex, Language Techonologies Institute, 5000 Forbes Avenue