Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence, EPFLResearch on dialog systems and language understanding
I had the great fortune to be a part of the Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence (LIA) during my semester exchange program at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. It all started with an email to Dr. Boi Faltings and culminated in my first paper being published at NeurIPS 2017.
To be honest, its hard to describe what the whole experience at LIA means to me in words. I’m really thankful to everyone at LIA for guiding and teaching me so much about research and beyond!
Work at the chatbots group
I was part of the chatbots group under the supervision of Dr. Faltings and Fei Mi. The group worked on language modelling, question answering and dialog systems, and our research was on modelling personalization in dialog systems based on neural networks.
Since there were no open datasets for such a study, we first built a novel dataset of human-bot conversations influenced by user profiles. We then analyzed and proposed modifications to existing memory network based dialog system architectures for modelling personalization in them.
Life en Suisse
Besides research, I decided to immerse myself into the world of machine learning and took three mindblowing courses at EPFL on NLP, Computer Vision and Convex Optimization. I had to work extrememly hard as they were all postgraduate level courses, but I had no choice because
I'm a masochist I wasn’t confident enough about my French to take the undergraduate level ones. In retrospect, taking these courses as a second year undergraduate was immensely helpful for doing research in subsequent years.
I also travelled around the beautiful country of Switzerland and all over Europe. I got to fulfil my childhood dream of watching European football live, many times over. It was really the most wonderful 6 months of my life!