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Content From 'Conversational Commerce Conference San Francisco 2018'

Content From 'Conversational Commerce Conference San Francisco 2018' | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Access the slides and recordings. Speakers included leading global brands & enterprises — Autodesk, John Chambers, Google, Esurance, Alight Solutions, Best Buy, Chris Messina, VIP Shop, Dell, Albertsons Companies, and others — showcasing real-world implementations of Conversational Commerce across multiple vertical industries.

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Meet Josef a ‘Next Generation’ Legal Automation Platform –

Meet Josef a ‘Next Generation’ Legal Automation Platform – | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

‘Josef provides a rnage of automated, knowledge based services, include a rules-driven chatbot to ensure completion of conversations.

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@TiVo Announces New Language Support for Conversation 

@TiVo Announces New Language Support for Conversation  | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

TiVo Corporation, a global player in entertainment technology and audience insights, has added German, Italian and Portuguese language support to TiVo Conversation Services, a module within the TiVo Personalised Content Discovery platform, which provides natural-language understanding technology, highly-relevant results and a personalised entertainment experience.

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Conversational AI Is Becoming More Mainstream As Demand Increases

Conversational AI Is Becoming More Mainstream As Demand Increases | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it
With Gartner predicting that “Conversational AI-first” will supersede cloud-first, mobile first” as the most important high-level imperative for the next 10 years, there is no doubt that many enterprises in the next 12 months will be deploying conversational systems. How successful they are, in both providing value to the customer and the business will depend greatly on the technology used, the data collected and its ability to deliver the conversational experience your customer expects.
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Humans Needed in the Loop for Effective #NLG?

Humans Needed in the Loop for Effective #NLG? | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Over the coming years, the field of NLG and NLU could benefit from the development of flexible authoring tools to empower conversation writers in much the same way that tools like Photoshop empowered artists or Final Cut Pro empowered video creators.
A combination of richer tools for language generation and dialog management systems, higher fidelity experiences, and improved use of humans in the loop will produce better content and ultimately launch us forward into a world populated with delightful and seamless computer conversation experiences.

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@danmiller on The Democratization of Conversational Technologies -

@danmiller on The Democratization of Conversational Technologies - | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

We’ve completed field work and are preparing to publish the 3rd annual assessment of speech analytics around the world (sponsored by Uniphore). One of the major findings, which will be a topic of discussion at the Conversational Commerce Conference in San Francisco in September is that executives in companies that have invested in and deployed speech analytics to support workforce optimization (WFO) and training of customer care agents in contact centers now recognize that the latest solutions are valuable resources for informing and training virtual assistants and chatbots.

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Report: Global Social and Entertainment Robots Market 

Report: Global Social and Entertainment Robots Market  | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it
This report studies the global Social and Entertainment Robots market, analyzes and researches the development status and forecast in United States, EU, Japan, China, India and Southeast Asia. This report focuses on the top players in global market, like Robot Care Systems, Savioke, Jibo, Inc., Blue Frog Robotics, ASUSTeK Computer Inc., AvatarMind, PAL Robotics, Fellow Robots, Aldebaran Robotics, Vstone Co., Ltd., Future Robot
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How Spirit AI uses #NLU to Level Up Game Communities

How Spirit AI uses #NLU to Level Up Game Communities | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Spirit AI's product Ally is really a tool for analyzing the social landscape of communities, really understanding them in terms of language and context. All of the things about conversation that I mentioned also apply when you’re looking at conversations between players and non-player characters (NPCs), right? But this time looking at those things between players. Conversation is very nuanced, very contextually specific.

LT-Innovate's insight:

Longish piece on conversation management in games; Key idea: AI can take over some of the demanding "emotional work" in online game moderating. 

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@SAP Launches 'Conversational AI' - Chatbots for the Intelligent Enterprise

@SAP Launches 'Conversational AI' - Chatbots for the Intelligent Enterprise | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

SAP Conversational AI, founded after the acquisition of the French startup Recast.AI, is part of the SAP Leonardo Machine Learning portfolio. The service includes a powerful language technology and an end-to-end bot platform allowing the training, building, and monitoring of chatbots, as well as packaged bots specialized per industry. With an existing bot-building community of more than 30,000 developers worldwide, SAP Conversational AI offers all necessary tools to integrate smart conversational agents into corporations, thus getting one step closer to enabling the intelligent enterprise.

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Janina Malutzki's curator insight, July 19, 6:50 AM
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Microsoft Acquires Conversational AI Startup Semantic Machines

Microsoft Acquires Conversational AI Startup Semantic Machines | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Microsoft has acquired Semantic Machines to bolster its conversational AI offerings like Cortana, the Azure Bot Service, and Microsoft Cognitive Services. Semantic Machines works in areas like speech synthesis, deep learning, and natural language processing to enables machines “to communicate, collaborate, understand our goals, and accomplish tasks.” It could help Microsoft compete with conversational computing initiatives from Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and Samsung’s Bixby

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Google Duplex: Automating Real-World Conversational Tasks Over the Phone

Google Duplex: Automating Real-World Conversational Tasks Over the Phone | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Google Duplex is a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out “real world” tasks over the phone. The technology is directed towards completing specific tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments. For such tasks, the system makes the conversational experience as natural as possible, allowing people to speak normally, like they would to another person, without having to adapt to a machine.
One of the key research insights was to constrain Duplex to closed domains, which are narrow enough to explore extensively. Duplex can only carry out natural conversations after being deeply trained in such domains. It cannot carry out general conversations.

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US Tech Partnership To Provide Cloud-based AI for Conversational Telemedicine Applications

US Tech Partnership To Provide Cloud-based AI for Conversational Telemedicine Applications | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

VSee and CloudMinds Technology have announced a partnership to overcome key challenges in next generation telemedicine application delivery. Telemedicine obstacles remain in patient-to-provider face-to-face communication including accurate translation, voice recognition and understanding of patient intent. VSee and CloudMinds are integrating a telemedicine platform with cloud-based AI to overcome these challenges.

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Machines Need to Learn Voices by Imitating Human Adaptability 

Machines Need to Learn Voices by Imitating Human Adaptability  | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Could a personal assistant someday listen to its users, detect stress, suss out power imbalances in relationships and match its voice, phrasing and tempo accordingly? If so, the "ideal" voice is specific to each person, and like a human's voice, it should adjust itself in real time throughout the day. If this is successfully implemented, it has enormous societal potential. Imagine an AI that corresponds to its user's manner of speaking -- that raises its voice or reacts sharply in response to its user's tone, not just the content of her speech.

LT-Innovate's insight:

Humans adjust their chord-like voices to other speakers to generate specific emotional responses, and how machines could benefit from such tonal versatility.

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@ArtificialSolutions Raises Another €13.6M 

@ArtificialSolutions Raises Another €13.6M  | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

With chatbots and voice assistants creeping into all consumer devices and apps, good conversational AI engines are in high demand. Capitalising on this, Swedish startup Artificial Solutions has raised €13.6 million in funding to further develop its Teneo platform.

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Global Market for Social and Entertainment Robots  to Grow at CAGR of +9%

Global Market for Social and Entertainment Robots  to Grow at CAGR of +9% | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Key Players in this report are: Robot Care Systems, Savioke, Blue Frog Robotics, Avatarmind, Jibo, Asus, Future Robot, Vstone, Aldebaran, Fellow Robots, and PAL Robotics

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How Smart Hubs Could Answer Follow-up Questions in #VA Contexts

How Smart Hubs Could Answer Follow-up Questions in #VA Contexts | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Gupta and colleagues describe a solution in the paper “Contextual Slot Carryover for Disparate Schemas,” a neural network that automatically learns to map one skill’s slots to another’s. The findings will be presented at the upcoming Interspeech conference in Hyderabad, India in September.

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Baidu's DuerOS Assistant Now Installed on 100 Million Devices

Baidu's DuerOS Assistant Now Installed on 100 Million Devices | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Baidu has announced that its conversational AI assistant DuerOS has reached an install base of 100 million devices, up from 50 million just six months ago. This is a suite of software developer kits (SDKs), APIs, and turnkey solutions that allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to quickly integrate Baidu’s voice platform with smart speakers, refrigerators, washing machines, set-top boxes, and more. To date, its more than 200 partners have launched 110 DuerOS-powered devices.

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Passage AI Chatbots Now Converse In Over 150 Languages

Passage AI Chatbots Now Converse In Over 150 Languages | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

 Passage AI, a leader in AI-powered conversational interfaces, has extended its natural language understanding/processing (NLU/P) capabilities to support over 150 languages natively, including simplified and traditional Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese and Spanish. Companies can now offer near instant responses to customers around the globe in their native tongue.

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@snips Plan to Generate Better Conversational Data By Incentivising 'Workers' 

Our data generation tool has been available as a centralized, fiat-based SaaS for a few months, and has been used across all our enterprise customers. Our goal is to now decentralize it, using the upcoming Snips AIR token to incentivize “workers” to produce high quality training data. The first step is to hire workers and onboard them. This is done via a bounty program, where they are asked to generate data for internal Snips tasks in exchange for tokens. This enables both workers to start earning tokens, as well as learning how the process works. Anyone can be a worker, including users of Snips AIR. Once a worker has accumulated enough experience, they can start participating in data generation for developers.

LT-Innovate's insight:

Looks as if decentralized blockchain-type systems could both attract & reward targeted data contributors. Already widely practiced for language data production in Asia.

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@SpeakSee - Conversational Speech-to-text for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Seeks Funding

@SpeakSee - Conversational Speech-to-text for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Seeks Funding | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Focused on assistive tech for inclusive group conversations
SpeakSee (UK) captures the speech in conversations and transcribes it into text on the smartphone, in real time. This way people with hearing loss can read what's being said.  Works for moderate to full hearing loss

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Post-death 'Live' Interactions Driven by Your Data

Post-death 'Live' Interactions Driven by Your Data | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

(Idea: Build an avatar bot for people based on their life's data that can continue to converse once the human is dead.)
The idea is for the bots to do more than merely play back — in text, audio, or synthesized speech — thing once written or said by the deceased. Instead, the goal is for machine-learning algorithms to learn from data left behind what the person was like and how they communicated in order to create a digital avatar that’s identical to the original person. These avatars could even conceivably keep up with current events, allowing the living to continue having brand-new conversations that they theoretically might have had with the dead.

LT-Innovate's insight:

The word "conversation" is undergoing a shift from a "meaningful exchange" to "turn taking" using language. Note the Alexa prize for 20 minutes plausible "conversation" with an AI. And now this idea of chatting to an avatar. Our lives become databases that drive "relevant" utterances. Agency - or significant silences - are off limits.

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UK-based @Volume Releases Tool for Marketers to Train #NLProc Engines

UK-based @Volume Releases Tool for Marketers to Train #NLProc Engines | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

UK-based marketing agency Volume, specialized in conversational solutions, has launched the “first Training and Testing-as-a-Service platform for natural language data models.”
Called QBox, it helps marketers test whether the training data used to fine-tune a NLP engine is working as it should. QBox, CEO Chris Sykes said in a statement, “allows natural-language data model developers to look into the black box they are typically working with, to easily understand any impact of a change on their training data.” 

LT-Innovate's insight:

Services developing around conversational tech...

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@Gamalon Aims to Help Interpret Customer Messages by Learning Ideas, Not Just Language

@Gamalon Aims to Help Interpret Customer Messages by Learning Ideas, Not Just Language | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Gamalon’s (US) so-called “idea learning” platform is all about serving companies with “accurate, editable, and explainable” processing capabilities for inbound customer messages and other forms of unstructured data. The company said that its platform can now process natural language and then explain the ideas. “We’re creating an AI model by essentially just talking to it — and Gamalon is figuring out what ideas, and the structure of those ideas, are present, and then automatically creating a model that can then be used on new utterances and messages." 

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A Social Robot Can Deliver a Motivational Interview

A Social Robot Can Deliver a Motivational Interview | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it
New research, from the University of Plymouth, U.K., indicates that a social robot can deliver a 'helpful' and 'enjoyable' motivational interview. This artificial intelligence equipped machine could be used to help counsel humans with a wide variety of problems, supplanting psychologists across a number of areas.
LT-Innovate's insight:

Eliza gave early proof of this type of application in the 1960s. 

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Conversational UX Design: Next Steps

IBM researchers.

Q: How close are we to having universal standards around conversational UX design?
A: That's a really good question. If you look at the discipline, you see a lot of common themes now, but there are different players with their own set standards or guidelines.
We know how to tailor our speech to one another in a way that these designed experiences try to do. So, at a broader level, we already have the guidelines [for conversational UX design], because we know how to hold conversations as humans. At a more granular level, it's going to take some time.

LT-Innovate's insight:

Conversational tactics presumably vary widely across language/age/work etc. communities. Will technology yet again end up by standardising practices? Or will machine learning open up variants?

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