Annual Conference 2021

Our first Annual Conference will bring together researchers and practitioners from a range of areas with interests in computational processing of speech signals and written language.

The conference will showcase the research being undertaken by our CDT’s PhD students as well as those in the Department of Computer Science‘s long-established Speech and Hearing (SpandH) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) research groups who, together, constitute one of the largest groupings of SLT researchers in the UK with world leading research publications and impact. 

As well as our student research, you can find out more about the CDT’s unique 4-year training programme which covers engineering skills, leadership, ethics, innovation, entrepreneurship, and responsibility to society – core to our goal of training the next generation of postdoctoral researchers ready to take up R&D and / or leadership roles in industry.

Throughout the conference, we have keynotes from leading international academics and industrial practitioners as well as a Panel Discussion which will cover technical and ethical topics.

The conference takes place over Tuesday 15 June and Wednesday 16 June 2021 and is a fully online event. Check out our keynote speakers and conference schedule below.

Register for free attendance!

Keynote Speakers

Professor Susan M. Fitzmaurice

University of Sheffield, UK

Title: Speech and Language at Sheffield (tbc)
Abstract: tbc

Speaker Bio
Susan Fitzmaurice is Vice President and Head of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Sheffield, UK. Her home academic department is the School of English where she is Professor and Chair of English Language. Fitzmaurice has been at the University of Sheffield since 2006; she served as Head of the School of English from 2011 till 2015. She was previously Professor of English and Head of Department, and then Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Northern Arizona University until December 2005. From 1987 to 1995, she was University Lecturer in English and Fellow of St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and from 1984 to 1986, she was Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Cape Town. Fitzmaurice is co-editor with Bernd Kortmann of the Topics in English Linguistics (TiEL) series for Mouton de Gruyter and she serves on the Council of the Philological Society.

Professor Mark Hasegawa-Johnson

University of Illinois, USA

Title: tbc
Abstract: tbc

Speaker Bio
Mark Hasegawa-Johnson has been on the faculty at the University of Illinois since 1999, where he is currently a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in 1996 at MIT, with a thesis titled “Formant and Burst Spectral Measures with Quantitative Error Models for Speech Sound Classification,” after which he was a postdoc at UCLA from 1996-1999. Prof. Hasegawa-Johnson is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, and a Senior Member of IEEE and ACM. He is currently Treasurer of ISCA, and Senior Area Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language. He has published 280 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers in the general area of automatic speech analysis, including machine learning models of articulatory and acoustic phonetics, prosody, dysarthria, non-speech acoustic events, audio source separation, and under-resourced languages.

Professor Milica Gašić

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany

Title: tbc
Abstract: tbc

Speaker Bio
Milica Gašić is a Professor of the Dialog Systems and Machine Learning Group at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Her research focuses on fundamental questions of human-computer dialogue modelling and lie in the intersection of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning. Prior to her current position she was a Lecturer in Spoken Dialogue Systems at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge where she was leading the Dialogue Systems Group. Previously, she was a Research Associate and a Senior Research Associate in the same group and a Research Fellow at Murray Edwards College. She completed her PhD under the supervision of Professor Steve Young and the topic of her thesis was Statistical Dialogue Modelling for which she received an EPSRC PhD Plus Award. She holds an MPhil degree in Computer Speech, Text and Internet Technology from the University of Cambridge and Diploma (BSc. equivalent) in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Belgrade. She is a member of ACL, a member of ELLIS and a senior member of IEEE.

Emilio Monti

Amazon, UK

Title: tbc
Abstract: tbc

Speaker Bio
Emilio Monti is a Senior Applied Scientist at Amazon UK where he has been since 2014. He works in a team of scientists and developers working on audio, speech and natural language solutions that will revolutionize how customers interact with Amazon’s products and services. Prior to joining Amazon, he worked at ARM Cambridge where he was part of the IoT team and led the mbed platform’s embedded software team enabling developers to create ARM-based IoT devices on a massive scale. He has an MSc in Physics from the University of Bologna, Italy.

Dr Giuseppe “Pino” Di Fabbrizio


Title: Conversational agents for e-commerce
Abstract: Recent advances in deep learning and natural language processing are fueling a new generation of conversational agents that are accurate and articulate in interacting with users on a broad range of subjects. Several conversational systems are also making their way to specific verticals such as banking, financing, healthcare, and e-commerce, and targeting consumers while supplanting real agents at scale in email, live chats, or other types of communications.

Although conversational agents are rapidly growing, some verticals such as e-commerce are still far from a frictionless user experience where conversion rates are seamlessly completed with voice-only “zero-click” purchases. In this talk, we illustrate VUI conversational AI platform that has been both successfully used to optimize e-commerce conversational systems and road-test challenges that currently limit scalability and adoption.

Speaker Bio
Pino Di Fabbrizio is VUI, Inc.’s Chief Technology Officer and co-founder. Before VUI, he was a principal research scientist and group leader at the Rakuten Institute of Technology in Boston. He was previously a senior research scientist at Amazon Alexa Science and a lead research scientist at AT&T – Labs Research. His research interests and publication topics include conversational agents, machine learning, natural language understanding, natural language generation, and large-scale speech system architectures. He published more than 70 papers and was awarded 30 patents. As a senior IEEE member, he regularly contributes to international scientific committees and editorial boards.


Schedule subject to change

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