Fri 09/18
Zhou Yu headshot

LMSS @ Cornell Tech: Zhou Yu (University of California, Davis)

Personalized Persuasive Dialog Systems

Dialog systems such as Alexa and Siri are everywhere in our lives. They can complete tasks such as booking flights, making restaurant reservations and training people for interviews. These systems are passively follow-along human needs.  What if the dialog systems have a different goal than users. We introduce dialog systems that can persuade users to donate to charities. We further improve the dialog model’s coherence by tracking both semantic actions and conversational strategies from dialog history using finite-state transducers. Finally, we analyze some ethical concerns and human factors in deploying personalized persuasive dialog systems.

Speaker Bio

Zhou Yu is an Assistant Professor at the Computer Science Department, University of California, Davis. Zhou is the director of the Davis NLP Lab. She received her PhD at Language Technology Institute under School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University 2017, working with Prof. Alan W Black and Prof. Alexander I. Rudnicky. 2015 summer and 2016 summer, she interned with Prof. David Suendermann-Oeft at ETS San Francisco Office on cloud based multimodal dialog systems. 2014 Fall, she interned with Dan Bohus and Eric Horvitz at Microsoft Research on situated multimodal dialogue systems.

Prior to CMU, Zhou received a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Linguistics under English Language Major from Zhejiang University in 2011. She worked with Prof. Xiaofei He and Prof. Deng Cai on Machine Learning and Computer Vision. Zhou also worked with Prof. Yunhua Qu on Machine Translation.