[AI Seminar] Talk on Data Driven Dialog Management using reinforcement learning

Chris Atkeson cga at cs.cmu.edu
Mon Apr 10 11:36:04 EDT 2017

Tuesday April 11, 3pm, NSH 3305
If you would like to meet with the speaker, please send free times on Tuesday 
to cga at cmu.edu. Alborz is here all day Tuesday. This is a good
way to find out about Amazon's Alexa project.

Data Driven Dialog Management

Alborz Geramifard
Manager, Machine Learning, Amazon

Speech-based AI assistants such as Alexa and Google Now are becoming 
increasingly popular as a convenient way for people to interact with machines. 
However, users find interactions with their assistants more natural if 
conducted in a conversational manner, with multiple requests made and responses 
provided in a given dialog session. Creating robust dialog policies for 
conversational bots is challenging. This talk presents a data driven approach 
for dialog management through reinforcement learning. We first introduce a 
framework for building conversational bots and describe MovieBot as an 
implementation of the framework that was launched as an Alexa skill. We then 
describe approaches to creating the reward function based on sentiment analysis 
on text, using various techniques including Long Short Term Memory networks 
(LSTMs). The talk will end by discussing potential directions, and how all 
pieces of the puzzle can fit together.

Alborz Geramifard is currently a Machine Learning Manager at Amazon working on 
conversation AI for Alexa. Before joining Amazon, he was a postdoctoral 
associate at MIT's Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems. Alborz 
received his PhD from MIT working on representation learning and safe 
exploration in large scale sensitive sequential decision-making problems in 
2012. He finished his MSc at University of Alberta in 2008, where he worked on 
data efficient online reinforcement learning techniques. His research interests 
lie at machine learning with the focus on reinforcement learning, natural 
language understanding, planning, and brain and cognitive sciences. Alborz was 
the recipient of the NSERC postgraduate scholarships 2010-2012 program.

Chris Atkeson cga at cmu.edu

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