Collaborating Authors


Artificial Intelligence 'AI' and additional needs


Something a little more unusual in this blog post as we are going to be exploring how Artificial Intelligence can be a tool that we can use to help and support people, of any age with additional needs or disabilities, in our churches. "Technology has changed the world, bringing knowledge within reach and expanding a range of opportunities. Persons with disabilities can benefit enormously from such advances, yet too many lack access to these essential tools…" So, has anything changed since then? And what does today's Artificial Intelligence, or'AI', offer as technological solutions for disabled people, particularly in our church settings? What can we learn about'AI' together, that can enable us to better serve and support disabled people in our church communities?

'The Five' on Biden's COVID 'debacle,' Amazon's Alexa troubles

FOX News

'The Five' panel react to an Amazon Alexa instructing a child to stick a penny in an electrical outlet. This is a rush transcript from "The Five," December 30, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated. It's five o'clock in New York City, and this is The Five. The White House desperately trying to clean up President Biden's COVID debacle. As America hits a record number of new cases, the commander-in- chief failing to live up to his promise to shut down the virus as people wait hours in lines while states struggle with testing shortages. The president still has not signed the contract to send Americans millions of at-home tests, and he is bragging about a new test making facility that won't even be ready until -- listen to this -- 2024. And so much for following the science, the CDC is now cutting isolation period for people with COVID in half. But not to make us safer. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The reason is that now that we have such an overwhelming volume of cases coming in, many of which are without symptoms, there is the danger that this is going to have a really negative impact on our ability to really get society to function properly. So, the CDC made a decision to balance what is good for public health at the same time as keeping the society running. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: It really had a lot to do with what we thought people would be able to tolerate. We really want to make sure that we have guidance in this moment where we were going to have a lot of disease that could be adhered to, that people were willing to adhere to and that spoke specifically to when people were maximally infectious. So, it really spoke to both behaviors as well as what people were able to do. MCENANY (on camera): President Biden is also being accused of sabotaging a key, life-saving treatment. Florida surgeon general claims the Biden administration has been, quote, "actively preventing monoclonal antibody treatments as states are running out of that therapeutic." Republicans are not happy about it. DAN CRENSHAW (R-TX): In Texas, we are one of those states that doesn't have these monoclonal antibodies anymore. We have been complaining to the administration about how these formulas are distributed.

Building A User-Centric and Content-Driven Socialbot Artificial Intelligence

To build Sounding Board, we develop a system architecture that is capable of accommodating dialog strategies that we designed for socialbot conversations. The architecture consists of a multi-dimensional language understanding module for analyzing user utterances, a hierarchical dialog management framework for dialog context tracking and complex dialog control, and a language generation process that realizes the response plan and makes adjustments for speech synthesis. Additionally, we construct a new knowledge base to power the socialbot by collecting social chat content from a variety of sources. An important contribution of the system is the synergy between the knowledge base and the dialog management, i.e., the use of a graph structure to organize the knowledge base that makes dialog control very efficient in bringing related content to the discussion. Using the data collected from Sounding Board during the competition, we carry out in-depth analyses of socialbot conversations and user ratings which provide valuable insights in evaluation methods for socialbots. We additionally investigate a new approach for system evaluation and diagnosis that allows scoring individual dialog segments in the conversation. Finally, observing that socialbots suffer from the issue of shallow conversations about topics associated with unstructured data, we study the problem of enabling extended socialbot conversations grounded on a document. To bring together machine reading and dialog control techniques, a graph-based document representation is proposed, together with methods for automatically constructing the graph. Using the graph-based representation, dialog control can be carried out by retrieving nodes or moving along edges in the graph. To illustrate the usage, a mixed-initiative dialog strategy is designed for socialbot conversations on news articles.