Home > Events > CS Colloquium: Zhou Yu (UC Davis)
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CS Colloquium: Zhou Yu (UC Davis)

Time: 
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: 
Online (Zoom): https://umd.zoom.us/j/905209146

 

Seamless Natural Communication between Humans and Machines

Abstract: Dialog systems such as Alexa and Siri are everywhere in our lives. They can complete tasks such as booking flights, making restaurant reservations and training people for interviews. However, currently deployed dialog systems are rule-based and cannot generalize to different domains, let alone flexible dialog context tracking. We will first discuss how to design studies to collect realistic dialogs through a crowdsourcing platform. Then we introduce a dialog model that utilizes limited data to achieve good performance by leveraging multi-task learning and semantic scaffolds. We further improve the model's coherence by tracking both semantic actions and conversational strategies from dialog history using finite-state transducers. Finally, we analyze some ethical concerns and human factors in dialog system deployment. All our work comes together to build seamless natural communication between humans and machines.

Bio: Zhou Yu is an Assistant Professor at the UC Davis Computer Science Department. She obtained her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017. Zhou has built various dialog systems that have a real impact, such as a job interview training system, a depression screening system, and a second language learning system. Her research interest includes dialog systems, language understanding and generation, vision and language, human-computer interaction and social robots. Zhou received an ACL 2019 best paper nomination, featured in Forbes 2018 30 under 30 in Science and won the 2018 Amazon Alexa Prize.