Massively Open Online Education and Comedy Faqbots by Sam Joseph

Thu, 23 Aug 2012 19:30 - 21:00 JST

Cerego Japan Inc.

Shibuya Infoss Annex 9F, 12-10 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo


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Join us on August 23 for a talk by Ninjava cofounder Sam Joseph on Massively Open Online Education and Comedy Faqbots.

Massively Open Online Education and Comedy Faqbots

There has recently been an explosion in free, high quality online courses from Stanford University and other top tier educational institutions.  Early courses had a particular emphasis on Machine Learning and AI.  As part of the London-Stanford AI group, Sam has been working on a number of related projects, including "That's What She Said!" (TWSS), a "comedy" Machine Learning system that determines whether it will be funny to respond to a sentence with the TWSS phrase.  Based on original research by University of Washington researchers Kiddon & Brun, and with access to their original data, Sam and other members of the London-Stanford AI group created an open source Python implementation.  It was used by the comedy chatbot "Zarquon Squelchmama III" as part of its conversation in the recent international ChatBotBattles competition.

The TWSS project is now developing into a general chatbot to support questions about games programming (and other topics) from online students, and is accessible via Skype.   Dr. Joseph has two years of Skype chat logs from his online classes and is analyzing them to discern which questions an online faqbot should be able to answer to help students in Hawaii when Sam is asleep in London.  Sam and other members of the London-Stanford AI group have also crowdfunded a computer humour competition called "Funniest Computer Ever", which will be taking place this fall.

In this talk Sam will review the recent Massively Open Online Education offerings from Stanford and others, the TWSS, and Py-Coursera and CraftyJS-AI open source projects.  He will also demonstrate some comedy faqbots and sing the praises of Python and automated test suites.

About the speaker

Sam Joseph, Ph.D. is the CEO & Founder of NeuroGrid Ltd., and an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Hawaii Pacific University where he teaches Programming and Design for Mobile, Games, AI, Python, JavaScript and Software Engineering.  His doctorate is in Cognitive Science from Edinburgh University, and he also holds a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Hawaii.  Dr. Joseph is the recipient of the Raymond-Hide prize for Astrophysics and a Toshiba Fellowship, which originally brought him to Japan, where he researched Software Agents and designed learning algorithms for Cerego Japan and Peer to Peer computing at the University of Tokyo.  He has started a number of open source software projects and is the author of numerous academic papers.  He was previously an organizer of the Ninjava group and subsequently organized the Honolulu Coders group in Hawaii and most recently the London Stanford AI Meetup.

Time and place

  • Date: August 23 (Thu)

  • Time: Doors open at 19:30 | Talk starts at 20:00

  • Place: Cerego Japan
    Shibuya Infoss Annex 9F, 12-10 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

  • Language: English


  • The building’s main entrance locks at 20:00, so be sure to arrive before then!

  • There is no need to bring a Doorkeeper ticket with you.

We'll go for a drink at a nearby izakaya after the talk.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Best regards,

Zev and Errol


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