We are delighted to welcome Mark K. Smith into the group as an Honorary Professor. Mark is CEO of ContactEngine, a company specialising in conversational AI. ARG-tech and ContactEngine have been collaborating for some time now exploring ideas underpinning Human Computer Rapport, an integrated way of handling conversational context. Mark’s appointment in recognition of his leadership and insight in AI R&D represents a ramping up in this collaboration which will see close working between the two teams.
Chris was today giving evidence at the All Party Parliamentary Group on AI at the House of Lords. The focus of his contribution was on the reality of AI’s competence and the great distance that remains before AGI is imminent.
The start of the year has seen some exciting staff changes in ARG-tech. We welcome Dimitra Zografistou, who joins us from FORTH to work on models of argument representation. Rory Duthie is finishing writing up his thesis and starting to work as a research assistant on connections between argumentation and hypotheses. And finally, John Lawrence and Jacky Visser have both been appointed to permanent lectureships in the group.
We’re delighted that our survey of the field of Argument Mining is just out with Computational Linguistics. It provides the most up-to-date review currently accessible and is available now online.
Abstract. Argument Mining is the automatic identification and extraction of the structure of inference and reasoning expressed as arguments presented in natural language. Understanding argumentative structure makes it possible to determine not only what positions people are adopting, but also why they hold the opinions they do, providing valuable insights in domains as diverse as financial market prediction and public relations. This paper explores the techniques that establish the foundations for argument mining, provides a review of recent advances in argument mining techniques, and discusses the challenges faced in automatically extracting a deeper understanding of reasoning expressed in language in general.
On Monday 17th June, Chris is addressing the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee at Westminster at its monthly meeting which this month is dedicated to the theme of Fake News. He’ll be talking on what fake news isn’t as well as what it is — and the consequences for what can be done.
We will be focusing on argument mining, and given that it is such a fast moving area, the way in which the field has been shaped by advances over the past three years.
The tutorial has its own dedicated website at arg.tech/acl2019tut
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the tutors — and we hope to see you in Florence in August.
Henrique Lopes Cardoso is visiting us this week from the University of Porto Dept of Informatics Engineering to develop our collaboration around argument mining. He today gave us a short introduction to the exciting work at Porto on argument mining and related themes and will be working over the coming ten days with IAT and our infrastructure, and meeting with members of the team.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve been successful in a recent Defence and Security Accelerator programme run by the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory.
The way that an individual engages in dialogue is as unique to them as their fingerprint. So can we automatically identify individuals from their discourse behaviour? This is the idea now being implemented in our Dialogical Fingerprinting work with DSTL. Work starts today and preliminary results will be available for public release towards the end of the year.
We’re delighted to welcome Bonnie Webber here today: she’ll be talking to us about her work on discourse annotation and the new PDTB amongst other things, and we’ll then be looking at connections between PDTB and IAT. If you’d like to join the discussion in East lab, just fire an email to email@example.com.
Chris has been appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of ContactEngine, the London based AI tech company that supports new models of customer engagement. ContactEngine have put out a press release.