Gokhan Tur

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Past, Present, and Future of Conversational AI

Conversational AI has always been the holy grail task for many scientists since the last several decades. Yet we observe tremendous advances from the early spoken language understanding systems used for call routing in 80s to modern personal assistants. In this talk, I will review the origins of conversational AI giving examples from pioneering systems, then present an overview of modern industrial and academic goal-oriented conversational systems, showing directions in our quest to building ultimate AI machines talking to humans.

Dr. Gokhan Tur is a leading artificial intelligence expert on human/machine conversational language understanding systems. He co-authored more than 150 papers published in journals or books and presented at conferences. He is the editor of the book entitled "Spoken Language Understanding" by Wiley in 2011. He received the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Bilkent University, Turkey in 2000. Between 1997 and 1999, he was a visiting scholar at the CMU LTI, then the Johns Hopkins University, and the Speech Lab of SRI, CA. At AT&T Research, NJ (2001-2006) he worked on pioneering conversational systems like "How May I Help You?". He worked for the DARPA GALE and CALO projects at the Speech Lab of SRI, CA (2006-2010). He was a founding member of the Microsoft Cortana team, and later the Conversational Systems Lab at Microsoft Research (2010-2016). He worked as the Conversational Understanding Architect at Apple Siri team (2014-2015) and as the Deep Conversational Understanding Technical Lead Manager at Google Research. He is currently with the Uber AI Labs.

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