NORA/NAIL Webinar: Toward More Natural Interactions with Conversational Recommender Systems

On Friday June 11, Krisztian Balog will join us to talk about conversational recommender systems. Krisztian is a professor at the University of Stavanger.

Obs: A similar talk was given by Krisztian earlier this spring, as part of Norwegian Open AI Lab's webinar series. If you missed that seminar, here is your second chance to get an update on conversational recommender systems!

Trym Holter (Director, NAIL) and Klas Pettersen (CEO, NORA) will host the webinar.

Follow this link to register for the webinar:

Registration for webinar 

Abstract:
Recommender systems have become indispensable tools that help users navigate large collections to find items of potential interest. The conversational paradigm naturally lends itself to this problem, as it allows for rich interactions with the system using natural language. During a dialogue, the system can, among others, elicit preferences, provide explanations for the suggestions, and receive feedback on the recommendations. In this talk, I will address some key modeling and evaluation questions that reflect the unique challenges of the conversational setting. First, I will present an approach for generating natural language summaries of user preferences, which can be explicitly scrutinized, thereby giving users more direct control over the recommendations they receive. Second, I will address how to robustly interpret natural language refinements (or critiques) with respect to a given anchor item. Third, I will discuss the use of user simulation as an alternative means of end-to-end system evaluation.

About Krisztian: 
Krisztian Balog is a Professor at the University of Stavanger, leading the Information Access & Artificial Intelligence (IAI) research group, an Adjunct Professor in AI/NLP at NTNU, and a former Staff Visiting Faculty Researcher at Google. His general research interests lie in the use and development of information retrieval, natural language processing, and machine learning techniques for intelligent information access tasks.  More specifically, his research concerns semantic search and novel evaluation methodologies, and, more recently, conversational and explainable AI.  

With an h-index of 40 he has published over 175 papers, including an (open access) book on Entity-Oriented Search (Springer, 2018), serves as senior programme committee member at SIGIR, WSDM, WWW, CIKM, and ECIR, is former Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Information Systems and coordinator of IR benchmarking efforts at TREC and CLEF. He serves as short paper co-chair for CIKM'21 and as general co-chair of ECIR'22 (to be held in Stavanger, Norway). Balog is the recipient of the 2018 Karen Spärck Jones Award, and is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences.

  • Date: 11th of June
  • Time: 14:00-15:00
Published May 18, 2021 9:48 AM - Last modified June 10, 2021 12:03 AM