We all know Siri and Alexa could be a bit better. Ohio State prof Michael White is working on it.

Michael White, professor of computational linguistics in the Department of Linguistics at Ohio State University, has received a three-year, $2.4 million research grant from Facebook.

White’s research focuses on linguistics theory and its potential to improve natural language generation in artificial intelligence systems. The research is fundamental and may have practical applications for bettering conversational bots and assistants like Siri and Alexa.

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White’s work on ambiguous language and how computers handle it—or don’t—has been featured in national publications including The Atlantic.

The research will follow the terms of an agreement between Ohio State and Facebook that calls for open science sharing of the intellectual property developed during the project.

Cynthia Bent Findlay is a freelance writer for Columbus CEO.