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Postponed: Distinguished Lecture by Keeley Crockett: Goal-Oriented Conversational Agents

Venue: QMUL campus: Bancroft Road Lecture Theatre BR 3.02

Part of our Distinguished Lecture series

The lecture will be preceded at 2.45pm by tea & coffee, and followed by a reception - both in the Informatics Hub.

Speaker: Keeley Crockett


Goal-oriented conversational agents are computer programs which interact with users through natural language dialogue in order to provide some form of service. This is achieved through focusing the conversation on achieving the goal of a specific user. Pattern matching approaches to scripting conversational agent are still prevalent, yet more recently approaches using short text semantic similarity algorithms have been used to improve the challenges, time constraints and maintenance associated with scripting such agents. This talk will first discuss the advancements in the field of goal oriented conversational agents by highlighting application developments in the field of human resourcing, intelligent tutoring systems (English and Arabic), and passport domains. Secondly, our current work, focuses on greater synergy between conversational agents and artificial intelligence in the field of education with the introduction of Hendrix - the first conversational agent tutoring system that is adaptive to comprehension of individuals – detected through real-time monitoring of non-verbal behaviour.


Keeley Crockett is a Reader in Computational Intelligence in the School of Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. She is a knowledge engineer and has worked with companies to provide business rule automation with natural language interfaces using conversational agents. She is Senior Artificial Intelligence Scientist consultant for Silent Talker Ltd. She is currently a member of the IEEE Task Force on Ethical and Social Implications of Computational Intelligence and has a strong focus on ethically aligned design in the context of intelligent systems development. Her main research interests include fuzzy decision trees, semantic similarity algorithms, semantic text based clustering, conversational agents, fuzzy natural language processing, semantic similarity measures, and AI for psychological profiling. Currently the Principal Investigator (MMU) on the H2020 funded project iBorderCtrl – Intelligent Smart Border Control and Co-Investigator a UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Service Power. She is the currently Chair of IEEE WIE UKI and Vice-Chair of the IEEE Women into Computational Intelligence Society.

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