Conversational AI: Voice-Based Intelligent Agents

As we moved from the age of the keyboard, to the age of touch, and now to the age of voice, natural conversation in everyday language continues to be one of the ultimate challenges for AI. This is a difficult scientific problem involving knowledge acquisition, natural language understanding, natural language generation, context modeling, commonsense reasoning and dialog planning, as well as a complex product design problem involving user experience and conversational engagement.

I will talk about why Conversational AI is hard, how conversational agents like Amazon Alexa understand and respond to voice interactions, how you can leverage these technologies for your own applications, and the challenges that still remain.

Variants of this talk presented (click links for video):
Keynote talks at The AI Conference (2017), O’Reilly AI Conference (2017), The AI Summit (2017), Stanford ASES Summit (2017), MLconf AI Conference (2017), Global AI Conference (2016).
Distinguished lectures at Georgia Tech/GVU (2017), Northwestern University (2017).
Keynote panel at Conversational Interaction Conference (2016).
Lightning TED-style talks at IIT Bay Area Conference (2017), Intersect (2017).

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stefan W on June 12, 2017 at 2:51 am

    I think to have a conversational AI that can be conversational about everything could be hard. I believe we will first find conversational AI in certain verticals – entertainment, health, history etc. Google probably has the hardest challenge trying to be all things to all people.


  2. Ashwin – Great post and I appreciate it as we are living the challenges at and our world is only confined to personal health and nutrition. By the way, in response to one of the Alexa challenges we integrated ZoeFit, so a user can tell Alexa what to log and it passes to ZoeFit where we parse and do the nutritional breakdown.


  3. Natural language processing is one aspect of machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence that has the potential to truly change everything.


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