Collaborating Authors


Artificial Intelligence, speech and language processing approaches to monitoring Alzheimer's Disease: a systematic review Artificial Intelligence

Language is a valuable source of clinical information in Alzheimer's Disease, as it declines concurrently with neurodegeneration. Consequently, speech and language data have been extensively studied in connection with its diagnosis. This paper summarises current findings on the use of artificial intelligence, speech and language processing to predict cognitive decline in the context of Alzheimer's Disease, detailing current research procedures, highlighting their limitations and suggesting strategies to address them. We conducted a systematic review of original research between 2000 and 2019, registered in PROSPERO (reference CRD42018116606). An interdisciplinary search covered six databases on engineering (ACM and IEEE), psychology (PsycINFO), medicine (PubMed and Embase) and Web of Science. Bibliographies of relevant papers were screened until December 2019. From 3,654 search results 51 articles were selected against the eligibility criteria. Four tables summarise their findings: study details (aim, population, interventions, comparisons, methods and outcomes), data details (size, type, modalities, annotation, balance, availability and language of study), methodology (pre-processing, feature generation, machine learning, evaluation and results) and clinical applicability (research implications, clinical potential, risk of bias and strengths/limitations). While promising results are reported across nearly all 51 studies, very few have been implemented in clinical research or practice. We concluded that the main limitations of the field are poor standardisation, limited comparability of results, and a degree of disconnect between study aims and clinical applications. Attempts to close these gaps should support translation of future research into clinical practice.

Cognitive Science in the era of Artificial Intelligence: A roadmap for reverse-engineering the infant language-learner Artificial Intelligence

During their first years of life, infants learn the language(s) of their environment at an amazing speed despite large cross cultural variations in amount and complexity of the available language input. Understanding this simple fact still escapes current cognitive and linguistic theories. Recently, spectacular progress in the engineering science, notably, machine learning and wearable technology, offer the promise of revolutionizing the study of cognitive development. Machine learning offers powerful learning algorithms that can achieve human-like performance on many linguistic tasks. Wearable sensors can capture vast amounts of data, which enable the reconstruction of the sensory experience of infants in their natural environment. The project of 'reverse engineering' language development, i.e., of building an effective system that mimics infant's achievements appears therefore to be within reach. Here, we analyze the conditions under which such a project can contribute to our scientific understanding of early language development. We argue that instead of defining a sub-problem or simplifying the data, computational models should address the full complexity of the learning situation, and take as input the raw sensory signals available to infants. This implies that (1) accessible but privacy-preserving repositories of home data be setup and widely shared, and (2) models be evaluated at different linguistic levels through a benchmark of psycholinguist tests that can be passed by machines and humans alike, (3) linguistically and psychologically plausible learning architectures be scaled up to real data using probabilistic/optimization principles from machine learning. We discuss the feasibility of this approach and present preliminary results.

Multi-Task Learning For Parsing The Alexa Meaning Representation Language

AAAI Conferences

The Alexa Meaning Representation Language (AMRL) is a compositional graph-based semantic representation that includes fine-grained types, properties, actions, and roles and can represent a wide variety of spoken language.  AMRL increases the ability of virtual assistants to represent more complex requests, including logical and conditional statements as well as ones with nested clauses. Due to this representational capacity, the acquisition of large scale data resources is challenging, which limits the accuracy of resulting models. This paper has two primary contributions. First, we develop a linearization of AMRL graphs along with a deep multi-task model that predicts fine-grained types, properties, and intents. Second, we show how to jointly train a model that predicts an existing representation for spoken language understanding (SLU) along with the linearized AMRL parse. The resulting model, which leverages learned embeddings from both tasks, is able to predict the AMRL representation more accurately than other approaches, decreasing the error rates in the full parse by 3.56% absolute and reducing the amount of natively annotated data needed to train accurate parsing models.