Dr. Ashwin Ram is Senior Manager of AI Science for Alexa, the intelligent agent that powers Amazon Echo and other devices. He leads R&D initiatives to create advanced technologies for conversational agents, including the university-facing Alexa Prize competition.
Dr. Ram is a distinguished artificial intelligence (AI) researcher and entrepreneur. He managed the Interactive Intelligence research area at PARC, leading a team to invent new behavior change technologies to help people adopt healthier lifestyles. He was a professor in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech and director of the Cognitive Computing Lab. He has co-founded multiple startups, including OpenStudy (acquired by Brainly), an online social learning network, and Enkia (acquired by Sentiment360), which developed AI software for social media applications.
As we moved from the age of the keyboard, to the age of touch, and now to the age of voice, natural conversation in everyday language continues to be one of the ultimate challenges for AI. I will talk about why Conversational AI is hard, how conversational agents like Amazon Alexa understand and respond to voice interactions, how you can leverage these technologies for your own applications, and the challenges that still remain.