TOCS Event-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

TOCS Event-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

TOCS Event


Ron Kaplan

Ron Kaplan

Sr. Director/Distinguished Scientist, Nuance

Consulting Professor of Linguistics, Stanford University


May 7, 1:30 pm



CMUSV, Rm 118 [directions]

[login as guest]

Title: Conversational User Interface

Kaplan has worked on both the graphical user interface (GUI) and the conversational user interface (CUI) started about 40 years ago. The GUI was a lot easier to implement and it made computing and information resources available to ordinary people--but over the years it 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. However, the infrastructure is now in place for the widespread distribution of conversational interfaces, and we have begun to imagine and create sophisticated ways of exploiting this new mode of interaction. This may well be the "killer app" for deep natural language processing and complex reasoning.

Speaker Bio:

Ron Kaplan leads the newly created natural language understanding laboratory at Nuance Communications, where he is a Senior Director and Distinguished Scientist. Ron came to Nuance from Microsoft, where he managed the Natural Language Platform Team for the Bing search engine. Before that, he was Chief Technology Officer and Chief Scientific Officer at Powerset, a deep semantic-search company that Microsoft acquired and merged into Bing. Powerset was a spin-out of the (Xerox) Palo Alto Research Center that was based on NL technology developed by the natural language research group that Ron directed at PARC. Inxight and Microlytics were earlier spin-out companies based on Ron's technologies.

Ron is also a Consulting Professor of Linguistics at Stanford University. He is a past President of the Association for Computational Linguistics and was recently elected as an inaugural Fellow of ACL. He is a co-recipient of the 1992 Software System Award of the Association for Computing Machinery, and a Fellow of the ACM. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard University.