The Rise of Intelligent Systems
(Mazin Gilbert, Ph.D., MBA)

The future of civilization relies on our ability to develop a new breed of intelligent systems that enable a connected life experience. These systems are pivotal in providing unparalleled and ubiquitous customer experience in physical and virtual contact centers; in empowering intelligent vehicles to diagnose and fix themselves as part of the connected car industry; in helping business customers to make better investment decisions through big data; in enabling people to monitor, secure and interact with each other and with their homes, devices, appliances and televisions anytime and anywhere.

This talk will present our ongoing journey and technical challenges towards the invention and rise of intelligent systems. These systems are driving exciting new industries for customer care, enterprise, connected car, digital home, and big data. I will describe the science and technology behind these intelligent systems from speech and natural language technologies, to data analytics and recommendation. These systems are starting to understand, converse in multiple languages, and interact with each other and with other humans.  They are able to learn from massive amounts of data, enabling them to quickly adapt and make decisions without supervision.  


Conversational agents - first baby steps towards artificial intelligence and cognition
(Haizhou Li, Director of Research, Institute for Infocomm Research, Singapore)

Automated Dialogue has been one of the ultimate goals envisioned for artificial intelligence since the times of Alan Turing. The growing availability of computational power and data has allowed for the current development of data-driven approaches to dialogue, making it possible for commercial systems to start making their way into the real world. However, dialogue technology continues to be far away from achieving the once envisioned goal of developing artificial agents able to reason, react and communicate as humans do.

In this talk we will present some recent advances in the area of dialogue systems from the point of view of practical applications. First, we will focus on some low level problems such as semantic and pragmatic modelling and knowledge representation. Then, we will pay attention to higher level problems related to the orchestration of multiple interaction types into a single dialogue system. More specifically, we discuss about the integration of command, question answering, goal-oriented dialogue and chatting into a single platform, as well as the inclusion of multi-modal and multi-lingual strategies for augmenting dialogue management capabilities. Some actual examples of real user studies will be presented and described and, finally, the most relevant open problems for future research in the area of automated dialogue will be presented and discussed.