Speech and language technology (SLT), and particularly dialog technology, has the potential to help educate, facilitate medical treatment, provide access to services and information, empower, support independent living, and enable communication and cultural exchange between communities.
The ISCA-supported Dialog for Good Workshop (DiGo) aims to highlight the use of SLT for social good. It will promote novel use cases, cutting edge research and technological developments in any domain which facilitates society, building awareness of the opportunities that SLT offers. The workshop will foster networking among researchers and service providers, leading to further initiatives to develop this highly interdisciplinary area of speech and language research and technology.
We are co-located with the Young Researchers Roundtable on Spoken Dialog Systems (YRRSDS), and are delighted to share a roundtable discussion on ethics and a poster session on Dialog for Good with YRRSDS attendees.
We welcome submissions on dialog and speech and language technology and applications in areas including, but not limited to:
- Access to social services / participation in society
- Lesser Resourced Languages
- Social/Public services
- Political Freedom
Natural Language Processing (NLP) and SLT are becoming ubiquitous – speech synthesis and automatic speech recognition have been used to aid accessibility for several decades, and dialog technology is now becoming a powerful tool in applications useful to society. Recent examples include public educational exhibits (Pixie (KTH), New Dimensions in Testimony (ICT)), independent learning applications in fields from debating and presentation skills training (Metalogue, POLLI) to language learning and testing (REAP, MILLA, DuoLingo), anti-bullying initiatives (Fearnot!,Werewolf), a wide range of applications in health and wellness including mental health triage (SimSensei), genetics counselling (Vicky), childhood asthma (ALIZ-E), mobile phone based health and development information for low literacy / developing areas (Polly), digital resources for minority or lesser spoken languages (ABAIR, Digi-Sami), and companion/assistive systems for the elderly (Always On relational agent, Senior Companion, JOKER). These applications have potential to provide societal benefits or public good by giving access to highly interactive services in sectors or contexts where dialogue and language is a critical interaction component, and where other interface paradigms would be less effective or have higher infrastructure barriers. Other applications seek to improve access to information (Wikispeech), and provide spoken word versions of written texts for education and entertainment (Daisy Digital Books). Machine translation also has potential to aid communication and access to information.
Much of the work in such domains happens in government/international agencies (Departments of Social Welfare, UNESCO, UNHCR) or non-governmental organisations NGOs. Sharing of knowledge is often fragmented or local, making awareness of how services may be improved using SLT low compared to more connected commercial and industrial fields. Dialog for Good aims to be a focal point for work in this area. It will promote novel use cases, cutting edge research and technological developments in these domains, building awareness of the opportunities that SLT offers in these interaction contexts. The workshop will foster networking among spoken dialog researchers and service providers, leading to further initiatives to develop this highly interdisciplinary area of spoken dialog research.
DiGo will highlight domains where such technology is being used in support of societal advancement or public good.