German I Parisi

Toward Lifelong Conversational AI

Conversational agents have become increasingly popular in a wide range of business areas. Prominent examples of applications that have been transforming speech-to-speech interactions are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and McDonald’s voice-activated drive-thru. Companies from various industries are now exploring new ways of building products and services that rely on robust natural language interactions. A major technical challenge is how these solutions can efficiently incorporate new knowledge and increase performance over time while confining computational cost and addressing the current limitations of artificial learning systems designed to perform best in benchmark datasets. In this talk, I will introduce and discuss state-of-the-art machine learning technology in conversational AI with the ability to acquire, fine-tune, and transfer knowledge from large and continuous streams of data. The systems can learn in correspondence to novel interactions or the necessity to enrich domain-specific knowledge and logic. I will focus on scalable deep learning models for end-to-end natural language understanding and hybrid approaches to lifelong conversational agents in multiple application domains.

German I. Parisi is the Director of Applied AI at McD Tech Labs in Mountain View, California, a Silicon Valley-based research center established by McDonald’s Corporation to advance the state of the art in AI-powered technology systems for customer interaction and support. He is also an independent research fellow of the University of Hamburg, Germany, and the co-founder and board member of ContinualAI, the largest research organization and open community on continual learning for AI with a network of over 600 scientists. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy. In 2017 he received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Hamburg on the topic of multimodal neural representations with deep recurrent networks. In 2015 he was a visiting researcher at the Cognitive Neuro-Robotics Lab of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea, winners of the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge. His main research interests include human-robot interaction, continual robot learning, and neuroscience-inspired AI.

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