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Conversational AI - today's practice and tomorrow's potential
Alborz Geramifard · Jason Williams · Larry Heck · James Glass · Antoine Bordes · Steve Young · Gerald Tesauro

Fri Dec 08 08:00 AM -- 06:30 PM (PST) @ Grand Ballroom B
Event URL: http://alborz-geramifard.com/workshops/nips17-Conversational-AI/ »

In the span of only a few years, conversational systems have become commonplace. Every day, millions of people use natural-language interfaces such as Siri, Google Now, Cortana, Alexa, Facebook M and others via in-home devices, phones, or messaging channels such as Messenger, Slack, Skype, among others.  At the same time, interest among the research community in conversational systems has blossomed: for supervised and reinforcement learning, conversational systems often serve as both a benchmark task and an inspiration for new ML methods at conferences which don't focus on speech and language per se, such as NIPS, ICML, IJCAI, and others.  Research community challenge tasks are proliferating, including the sixth Dialog Systems Technology Challenge (DSTC6), the Amazon Alexa prize, and the Conversational Intelligence Challenge live competition at NIPS 2017. 

Now more than ever, it is crucial to promote cross-pollination of ideas between academic research centers and industry. The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers and practitioners in this area, to clarify impactful research problems, share findings from large-scale real-world deployments, and generate new ideas for future lines of research.   

This workshop will include invited talks from academia and industry, contributed work, and open discussion.  In these talks, senior technical leaders from many of the most popular conversational services will give insights into real usage and challenges at scale.  An open call for papers will be issued, and we will prioritize forward-looking papers that propose interesting and impactful contributions.  We will end the day with an open discussion, including a panel consisting of academic and industrial researchers.

Fri 9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. [iCal]
Opening (Alborz) (Presentation)
Alborz Geramifard
Fri 9:10 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. [iCal]
Invited Talk - Satindar Singh (Presentation)
Satinder Singh
Fri 9:50 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. [iCal]
An Ensemble Model with Ranking for Social Dialogue (Presentation)
Fri 10:10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. [iCal]
A Deep Reinforcement Learning Chatbot (Presentation)
Fri 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. [iCal]
Coffee Break / Hangup Posters (Break)
Fri 11:00 a.m. - 11:40 a.m. [iCal]
Invited Talk - Joelle Pineau (Presentation)
Joelle Pineau
Fri 11:40 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. [iCal]
Multi-Domain Adversarial Learning for Slot Filling in Spoken Language Understanding (Presentation)
Fri 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. [iCal]
Lunch Break (Break)
Fri 1:30 p.m. - 2:10 p.m. [iCal]
Invited Talk: Amazon (Ashwin) (Presentation)
Ashwin Ram
Fri 2:10 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. [iCal]
Invited Talk - Apple Talk (Blaise) (Presentation)
Blaise Thomson
Fri 2:50 p.m. - 3:05 p.m. [iCal]
One Minute Poster Spotlight (Presentation)
Tiancheng Zhao, Chandra khatri, Chaitanya K Joshi, Maryam Fazel-Zarandi, Arpit Gupta, Shang-Wen Li, Amanda Cercas Curry, Behnam Hedayatnia, Li Zhou, Anu Venkatesh, Fei Mi, Ming Cheng
Fri 3:05 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. [iCal]
Coffee Break / Poster Session (Break)
Fri 3:30 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. [iCal]
Invited Talk: Microsoft (Asli and Jianfeng) (Presentation)
Jianfeng Gao
Fri 4:10 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. [iCal]
Invited Talk: Google (Matt and Dilek) (Presentation)
Dilek Hakkani-Tur
Fri 4:50 p.m. - 5:20 p.m. [iCal]
Poster Session
Fri 5:20 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. [iCal]
Invited Talk: IBM (David, Rudolf) (Presentation)
Rudolf Kadlec, David Nahamoo
Fri 6:00 p.m. - 6:50 p.m. [iCal]


Fri 6:50 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. [iCal]
Closing Remarks (Jason) (Presentation)
Jason Williams

Author Information

Alborz Geramifard (Facebook)
Jason Williams (Apple)
Larry Heck (Google Research)
Jim Glass (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Antoine Bordes (Facebook AI Research)
Steve Young (Apple Computer)

Steve Young is Professor of Information Engineering at Cambridge University and a Senior Member of Technical Staff at Apple. His main research interests lie in the area of statistical spoken language systems including speech recognition, speech synthesis and dialogue management. He is the recipient of a number of awards including an IEEE Signal Processing Society Technical Achievement Award and an IEEE James L Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the UK Royal Academy of Engineering. In addition to his academic career, he has also founded a number of successful start-ups in the speech technology area

Gerald Tesauro (IBM TJ Watson Research Center)

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