Sunday, May 21, 2017

Conversational AI for Dungeons and Dragons


we start the 2017 eClub Summer Camp. eClub has moved to a new CIIRC building. We are competing in the Alexa Prize competition. Join eClub and learn the latest machine learning, NLP algorithms.

A few years ago we have started with a question answering system YodaQA. It has been inspired by the IBM Watson beating the best player in Jeopardy. Today we continue our journey in even more challenging projects. We are creating dialogs for the latest voice-controlled appliances. We have entered the Alexa Prize competition and it helped us to develop Alquist the social bots. We have a free access to an immense power of AWS, we are in constant touch with the Amazon research staff. Every member of the Alquist team became an NLP expert. The Alquist system is day by day getting better. Currently, Alquist can conduct a sensible short dialog. The user can choose from several topics: sports, politics, celebrities, jokes, etc.

Thousands of users are using the chat and we receive valuable logs making us very busy. It takes a lot of time to get through details, to discover why the user stopped the conversation but we are learning a lot. What is the social dialog? What are the catchy questions? How to respond quickly and interestingly? There are still a lot of questions, but we are ambitious, we want to extend the Alquist knowledge to handle a long and interesting dialog. If you like tested say Alexa let's chat.

The Natural Language Understanding (NLP) underlines Alquist. NLP is also the essential part of Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Assitant and other latest bots. The Conversational AI is building on machine learning, optimization etc., it takes advantage of all the latest development in machine learning, starting with the classical algorithms up to the latest deep neural network, sequence to sequence and memory networks etc. This summer we want to considerably improve the Alquist capabilities. To achieve our goals we need to enlarge the Alquist team and focus on the Conversational AI. If you are a BSc, MSc or Ph.D. student join us. We have various programs including Ph.D. candidates.

In addition to AI, we also need creative individuals knowing how to handle a dialog, being innovative. We all know that carrying an interesting dialog is an art. To teach Alquist interesting dialogs is even more complicated. Creative young people with many different skills in the human to the human conversation are welcome to join us.

A dialog is also about information and experience exchange. Imagine for example a bot helping you playing an adventure game. The RPG have many rules and it is very boring to search an information in a handbook. One of the very popular RPG games is the Dungeons and Dragons. We want to design an interactive Alexa D&D handbook and improve level and XP progression. If you are interested in D&D join us helping us to design a voice-controlled interactive manual.

The NLP space is huge and we have a large number of interesting topics to work on. If you are interested in AI, machine learning, neural nets etc. join us. We have great resources, a lot of experience and funds to award you scholarships.

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