SIGdial 2015

16th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue


Maxine Eskenazi, Alan W Black, Sungjin Lee and David Traum
The REAL Challenge took place for the first time in 2014, with a long term goal of creating streams of real data that the research community can use, by fostering the creation of systems that are capable of attracting real users. A novel approach is to have high school and undergraduate students devise the types of applications that would attract many real users and that need spoken interaction. The projects are presented to researchers from the spoken dialog research community and the researchers and students work together to refine and develop the ideas. Eleven projects were presented at the first workshop. Many of them have found mentors to help in the next stages of the projects. The students have also brought out issues in the use of speech for real applications. Those issues involve privacy and significant personalization of the applications. While long-term impact of the challenge remains to be seen, the challenge has already been a success at its immediate aims of bringing new ideas and new researchers into the community, and serves as a model for related outreach efforts.