The Future of Human-Robot Spoken Dialogue: from Information Services to Virtual Assistants

NII Shonan Meeting:

@ Shonan Village Center, March 26-28, 2015

NII Shonan Meeting Report (ISSN 2186-7437):No.2015-7


  • Rafael E. Banchs, Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), Singapore
  • Sakriani Sakti, NAIST, Japan
  • Etsuo Mizukami, NICT, Japan

Overview059_Group Photo

Description of the meeting

Dialogue Systems embrace the ultimate goal of human-robot interaction, in
which computational systems communicate with their human interlocutors in the
same way humans communicate among them. Although significant progress
has been achieved during the last few years and some pioneering commercial
systems are finding already their way in the market, current state-of-the-art
dialogue systems are very limited in their approach to the human
communication phenomenon. Some of these limitations include:

  • the lack of ability to properly model world knowledge for reasoning purposes,
  • the still low reliability of speech recognition and the limited capacity of dialogue systems to cope with recognition errors in a logical manner,
  • the complex and multimodal nature of the pragmatic phenomena and the socio-cultural aspects that affect such interactions, and
  • the difficulty of evaluating dialogue quality and the subsequent development of reliable strategies for automatic learning and adaptation.

The main objective of this NII-Shonan meeting is to discuss about the most
relevant and promising future directions of research in dialogue systems. The
discussion is to be centered on how these research directions address the
different problems and limitations of current dialogue systems, as well as how
they provide the basis for the next generation of intelligent artificial agents.

The assistants will be requested to present work in progress as well as to
propose new collaborative efforts for tackling with the main limitations of current
dialogue systems mentioned above. As a result of the meeting, a research
agenda for main directions and international collaboration for the next three to
five years will be defined.

Joint organization of future workshops and shared tasks by the participants in
the meeting will be defined with the objective of pushing the state-of-the-art in
dialogue systems to a more comprehensive effort for developing a new
generation of intelligent virtual assistants.

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