“I’m fortunate to witness novel and incredible AI models being created every day”

Andy Tseng, a PhD student in Engineering from Clare Hall, shares details on his areas of specialism in AI

My research focuses on Spoken Dialogue Systems — a subfield of Natural Language Processing in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The goal is to develop a specific type of machines, known as dialogue systems, that are capable of communicating with human beings using our language and completing pre-defined tasks for us, such as restaurant reservation or flight booking. In recent years, more and more research interests and effort are put in the field to create powerful dialogue systems, with applications ranging from Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant to AI-empowered call centres and customer services. Dialogue systems are important as, on one hand, they make target users (e.g. a person calling to a bank to change his/her address) more convenient as the machine can automatically handle multiple requests at a time and would not be restricted by limited resources as in human beings; and on the other hand, with machines solving certain tasks (usually straight-forward for humans), human agents (e.g. bank counter staff) are able to concentrate on more complex tasks and create more value to society.

I’m fortunate to witness novel and incredible AI models being created every day in this emerging field.
This field has been growing so rapidly. A system proposed half a year ago could be viewed as old and be surpassed by many new methods with better performance. More and more challenges that seem impossible for machines to complete are achieved, such as GO (the game where AI can beat the best human player), predictions of protein structure, and novel/article writing.

Cambridge University’s Machine Intelligence research group provides a friendly and comfortable atmosphere for students.
More importantly, students appreciate the freedom of exploring research topics that interest them. The Engineering Department with no doubt supports our research life in many perspectives — from finance, hardwares to computing resources. (NB: this experience on the group is more about the group my supervisor, Professor Bill Byrne, leads, not the general Machine Intelligence research group).

As a Clare Haller, I treasure how sweet and cosy my college is.
The buildings are modern and our halls of residence are comfortable. More importantly, the food in Clare Hall is the best with no doubt! The staff always welcome students warmly and nicely :)

Looking ahead to my future career…
I will work as a research scientist in the industry, and wish to dedicate myself to more meaningful AI research and make an impact on the world.

Learn more about Cambridge’s PhD in Engineering at https://www.postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/egegpdpeg

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