Location: Huawei Bldg E, 2890 Scott Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA 95050

Time: January  21, 2016 Thursday, 1:00pm - 5:30pm   See who's attended                                               Join BAMMF

The Future of Intelligent Agents in Consumer Devices (Video, Slides)

What's next as the smart phone wave crests: autonomous vehicles, robots, internet of things, wearables? A common thread across these categories is the increased need for speech and conversation to interact and control them. The same machine learning technologies that have made speech recognition surprisingly accurate are also enhancing our devices' abilities to predict what we are doing and deliver services and information proactively. Intelligent agents make interacting with computers more natural but can an intelligent agent be a product in itself or must it continue as a feature on top of devices? Is an intelligent agent inherently just a collection of nice-to-have utilities or is there a "killer app" that will compel consumers to buy/subscribe to one?

This collection of presentations explores innovations surrounding this fundamental question along with tangential issues: What are the remaining technology barriers? What is the business ecosystem for intelligent agents? Will the intelligence be serving the consumer or corporations? Will the intelligence continue to exist primarily in a device or will it shift primarily into the cloud? Will privacy concerns finally create a backlash? How will consumer lives and products change as agent technologies become the main way we interact with devices?


Bo Begole

Vice President, Global head, Media Lab at Huawei Technologies

Oliver Brdiczka

Co-founder and Chief Data Scientist at People Prodigy, Inc.


[Speaker change. We have the honor of adding Peter Yeh of Nuance Research as a speaker to the 9th BAMMF, replacing Ron Kaplan. Ron Kaplan will still attend the event and participate in the panel at the end of the meeting.]


Peter Z. Yeh

Job Title:  Senior Principal Research Scientist

Affiliation: Nuance Communications

Bio: Peter Z. Yeh is a Senior Principal Research Scientist at Nuance's Natural Language and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Laboratory, and leads the Lab's AI Technology group, which is responsible for developing advance AI technology capabilities and transitioning them into Nuance's product lines. Prior to this, Peter was a Research Manager at Accenture Technology Labs where he was responsible for leading initiatives that apply AI technologies to a broad range of enterprise problems from competitive intelligence to advanced analytics. Peter's research interests lie at the intersection of AI, data and web mining, and natural language understanding; and has a particular interest in their application to solving real-world problems. Peter has published over forty peer-reviewed articles in the aforementioned areas, and also holds several patents. He frequently serves on the program committee of international conferences such as AAAI/IAAI, ISWC, etc., and has recently chaired the IAAI conference. Peter received his PhD in computer science from The University of Texas at Austin.

Talk Title:  The Conversational User Interface (Video)

Abstract:  Work on both the graphical user interface (GUI) and the conversational user interface (CUI) started at about the same time, about 40 years ago.  The GUI was a lot easier to implement, and it made computing and information resources available to ordinary people and not just to technical specialists. But over the years the GUI has lost much of its simplicity and charm.  The CUI has taken many more years to develop, requiring major scientific and engineering advances in speech, natural language processing, user-modeling, and reasoning, not to mention increases in cost-effective computation.  This talk surveys some of the technologies that are evolving to support natural conversation and suggests that natural conversation is what will permit simple interaction with the complex digital devices that we now encounter in our everyday lives.

Adam Coates

Job Title: Director

Affiliation:  Silicon Valley AI Lab, Baidu Research

Bio: Adam Coates is Director of the Silicon Valley AI Lab at Baidu Research in Sunnyvale. He received his PhD in 2012 from Stanford University and subsequently was a post-doctoral researcher at Stanford. During his graduate career, Coates co-developed the most sophisticated autonomous helicopter in the world, capable of advanced aerobatic maneuvers. He also worked on perception systems for household robots before studying deep learning algorithms. His thesis work investigated issues in the development of deep learning methods, particularly the success of large neural networks trained from large datasets. He also led the development of large scale deep learning methods using distributed clusters and GPUs. At Stanford, his team trained artificial neural networks with over 11 billion connections—the largest in the world—using techniques for high performance computing systems

Talk Title: Deep Speech (Video , Slides)

Abstract: Speech recognition technology promises to dramatically alter our relationship with machines, making devices and the internet easier to use and more accessible. However,  current systems are not sufficiently accurate or natural for users to rely on them.  This is especially critical in developing economies where new users will connect to the internet for the first time with a mobile device.  As part of our mission to create technologies that let us have an impact on hundreds of millions of people, our team in the Silicon Valley AI Lab at Baidu is creating a new type of speech recognition system, called DeepSpeech, that seeks to significantly improve speech recognition performance and eventually make devices as natural to interact with as other humans.  In this talk, I will describe how scalability and Deep Learning are driving progress in AI, enabling powerful end-to-end systems like DeepSpeech to reach new levels of performance.

Emmanuel Munguia Tapia

Job Title: Chief Technology Officer

Affiliation: AlgoSnap Inc.

Bio: Dr. Emmanuel Munguia Tapia received his MS and PhD degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has over 15 years of multi-disciplinary expertise combining machine learning, context awareness and novel sensor hardware to make mobile, wearable and IoT devices smarter. He is presently the cofounder and chief technology officer of AlgoSnap Inc., a startup focused on creating intelligent algorithms and analytics from massive sensor datasets to achieve unprecedented IoT device intelligence. Dr. Munguia Tapia was previously a technologist and strategist at Intel Corporation in the areas of machine learning, context awareness, sensors, and biosensors. As the former director of Context Awareness and Mobile Sensing for Samsung he won the Samsung Gold Medal Award for creating the most innovative technology company wide in 2014. He was also the recipient of the 10 year impact award at UBICOMP 2014, the top International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing.

Dr. Munguia Tapia also holds a diploma in Engineering Leadership from University of California Berkeley and has 36+ international publications and 10+ patents.

Talk Title: The Magic Box: Automating the Development Cycle for Intelligent Algorithms (Video , Slides)

Abstract: Traditionally, the development of robust intelligent agents and algorithms for commercial products is a slow and inefficient process that takes months or even years. We estimate that up to 70% of the resources in industry and even academia are spent on tasks that do not advance the state-of-the-art for intelligent algorithms. Instead, an enormous amount of time is spent building data collection infrastructures, managing data collection campaigns, experimenting with existing machine learning techniques, and finally porting the algorithms from analytics tools (e.g., Matlab) to target devices where they are tested and optimized. In this talk, we will review these pain points and present our platform which accelerates the algorithm development cycle over 100x while making it less expensive using automation, crowdsourcing, and crowdfunding so that businesses can ship algorithms in days instead of years. We will also introduce, an effort to ethically collect the largest mobile dataset across the United States so progress on intelligent algorithms that use sensor data can catch-up with progress made in other areas such as vision via large datasets such as ImageNet and enable the application of techniques such as Deep learning.

Pilar Manchón

Director of Intelligent Digital Assistance & Voice at Intel Corporation

Bio: Pilar Manchón holds a First Degree in English Philology, University of Seville, a MSc. in Cognitive Science and Natural Language, Edinburgh University, and a PhD in Computational Linguistics on Intelligent Multimodal Dialogue Systems, Stanford and Seville Universities. She also received Executive and Business training, San Telmo International Institute and the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and a Masters in Business Internationalization by the EOI. In 2005, Pilar joined forces with Gabriel Amores to found Intelligent Dialogue Systems aka INDISYS, an Artificial Intelligence company in Seville, Spain, which developed Intelligent Virtual Agents with human-like conversational capabilities. While raising over $7.5M to develop the solution, jumpstart the business and expand internationally, Pilar built an A team and developed a company culture that encouraged personal and professional growth, trust, respect and excellence. She drove and executed the strategy that enabled Indisys to achieve international peer and customer recognition, a solid reputation of impeccable service, ability to deliver and top quality solutions. These NLP and Dialogue Management technologies and tools received international recognition and multiple awards. In 2013, INDISYS became the first Spanish company ever acquired by Intel. Today, Pilar is the GM of Voice and Digital Assistance in the Client Computing Group at Intel, as well as an international inspirational speaker.

Talk Title: 

Multidimensional Intelligence (Video)

Abstract:  In a world where Virtual Agents are gradually demonstrating increasing levels of intelligence, users still find virtual agents lacking in human-like capabilities and qualities. One of the key factors in this gap in human-likeness is Multidimensional Intelligence. Many developers and are still focusing on different levels of functional intelligence, while leaving aside other types of intelligence that have a decisive impact on the users’ perception. As we will see, it is all about perception: when intelligence cannot be furthered within the current state of the art, the appearance of intelligence can still boost the user’s overall experience. Cognitive Design and a solid persona in conjunction with Social and Emotional Intelligence can effectively help bridge the gap that brings agents closer to their ultimate goal.

Panel discussion with: (Video)

 - Ron Kaplan, A9

 - Peter Yeh, Nuance

 - Adam Coates, Baidu

 - Emmanuel Munguia Tapia, AlgoSnap

 - Pilar Manchón, Intel

 - Moderator: Bo Begole, Huawei

Our Sponsors:
PARC, a Xerox Company

Hewlett Packard

What's BAMMF?

BAMMF is a Bay Area Multimedia Forum series. Experts from both academia and industry are invited to exchange ideas and information through talks, tutorials, posters, panel discussions and networking sessions. Topics of the forum will include but not limited to emerging areas in vision, audio, touch, speech, text, sensors, human computer interaction, natural language processing, machine learning, media-related signal processing, communication, and cross-media analysis etc. Talks in the event may cover advancement in algorithms and development, demonstration of new inventions, product innovation, business opportunities, etc. If you are interested in giving a presentation at the forum, please contact us.