The CMU Portugal Program launched on January 28th the first Talk of its series of webinars “Data Science Talks @ CMU Portugal”, organized in the framework of the Advanced Training Program in Data Science and Machine Learning which is planned to start in 2021. Jamie Callan, Professor and Interim Director of the CMU Language Technologies Institute, led the first presentation “Conversational Assistants for Complex Search Tasks”. The fruitful discussion approached the impact and development of new and complex conversational assistants, most specifically the TREC Conversational Assistance Track (CAsT), an international forum for research on next-generation conversational assistants that support complex information seeking.
The session started with a brief introduction by João Fumega, CMU Portugal Education Officer, followed by João Magalhães, CMU Portugal Faculty member at FCT UNL and one of the leading Faculty of the CMU Portugal Advanced Training Program in Data Science and Machine Learning.
Briefly, CAsT conversations are 8-12 questions that model a person learning about a topic, for example Cancer, the US electoral college, or the Bronze Age collapse. During the talk, Jamie presented the characteristics and functionalities of successful CAsT systems allowing them to share their questions.
If you weren’t able to participate, here’s the full session video: