Annual Conference 2023 - Keynotes

Venue: Lecture Theatre 2, The Wave.

Note: all keynote talks will be delivered remotely to an in-person audience. There will be no facility to join online.

Professor Pascale Fung

Director, Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAiRE)

Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering and Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Talk scheduled for: 9:45am - 10:30am on Tuesday 13 June  

Title: Safer Generative ConvAI

Abstract: Generative models for Conversational AI are less than a decade old,  but they hold great promise for human-machine interactions. Machine responses based on generative models can seem quite fluent and human-like, empathetic and funny, knowledgeable and professional. However, behind the confident voice of generative ConvAI systems, they can also be hallucinating misinformation, giving biased and harmful views, and are still not "safe" enough for many real life applications. The expressive power of generative ConvAI models and their undesirable behavior are two sides of the same coin. How can we harness the fluency, diversity, engagingness of generative ConvAI models while mitigating the downside? In this talk, I will present some of our team’s recent work in making generative ConvAI safer via mitigating hallucinations, misinformation, and toxicity.

Speaker Bio

Pascale Fung is a Chair Professor at the Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering at The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST), and a visiting professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. She is an elected Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) for her "significant contributions to the field of conversational AI and to the development of ethical AI principles and algorithms", an elected Fellow of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) for her “significant contributions towards statistical NLP, comparable corpora, and building intelligent systems that can understand and empathize with humans”. She is an Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for her “contributions to human-machine interactions” and an elected Fellow of the International Speech Communication Association for “fundamental contributions to the interdisciplinary area of spoken language human-machine interactions”. She is the Director of HKUST Centre for AI Research (CAiRE), an interdisciplinary research centre on top of all four schools at HKUST. She co-founded the Human Language Technology Center (HLTC). She is an affiliated faculty with the Robotics Institute and the Big Data Institute at HKUST. She is the founding chair of the Women Faculty Association at HKUST. She is an expert on the Global Future Council, a think tank for the World Economic Forum. She represents HKUST on Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society. She is on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. She is a member of the IEEE Working Group to develop an IEEE standard - Recommended Practice for Organizational Governance of Artificial Intelligence. Her research team has won several best and outstanding paper awards at ACL, ACL and NeurIPS workshops.

Prof. Fung was born in Shanghai to professional artist parents but found her calling in artificial intelligence when she became interested in science fiction as a child. Today, her research interest lies in building intelligent systems that can understand and empathise with humans. To achieve this goal, her specific areas of research are using statistical modelling and deep learning for natural language processing, spoken language systems, emotion and sentiment recognition, and other areas of AI. She served as Editor and Associate Editor for Computer Speech and Language, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, Transactions for ACL, IEEE Signal Processing Letters. She served as a Committee Member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society Speech and Language Technology Committee (SLTC) for six years. She is a past president t and a Board Member of the ACL Special Interest Group on Linguistics Data and Corpus Based Approaches in NLP (SIGDAT)

Prof. Fung received her PhD in Computer Science from Columbia University in 1997. She worked and studied at AT&T Bell Labs (1993~1997), BBN Systems & Technologies (1992), LIMSI, CNRS, France (1991), Department of Information Science, Kyoto University, Japan (1989~1991), and at Ecole Centrale Paris, France (1988). She speaks seven European and Asian languages. 

Dr Benjamin R Cowan

Associate Professor, School of Information and Communication Studies, University College Dublin.

Talk scheduled for: 9:45am - 10:30am on Tuesday 13 June  

Title: Perspective taking, partner models and user language use in speech technology interaction

Abstract: Interacting with devices through speech is now commonplace. Design is critical in supporting and informing our perceptions of what speech interfaces can do as dialogue partners (i.e. our partner models), which are commonly used to inform perspective taking in dialogue. My talk showcases recent psycholinguistic and HCI research exploring what partner models are, how speech interface design shapes our beliefs of a machine partner's abilities, and whether partner models always play a role in influencing what we say to speech interfaces.

Speaker Bio

Dr Benjamin R Cowan is Associate Professor at University College Dublin's School of Information & Communication Studies. He completed his undergraduate studies in Psychology & Business Studies (2006) as well as his PhD in Usability Engineering (2011) at the University of Edinburgh. 

His research lies at the juncture between psychology, human-computer interaction and communication systems in investigating how people interact with collaborative conversational AI. His recent research has focuses specifically on how theory and quantitative methods from psychological science can be applied to understand and design collaborative conversational AI experiences. 

Dr Cowan is the co-founder and co-director of the HCI@UCD group, one of the largest HCI groups in Ireland, co-founder of the SFI D-REAL Centre for Research Training and is a co-PI in the SFI ADAPT Centre, a €100 million research centre conducting cutting edge research on the future of AI driven content technologies.