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Congratulations Ryan and Josue, Chelsea Titus Visit, LLMs at Boise State

Work in the SLIM group has been progressing this semester. We have had some papers published, including a paper exploring how dialogue management should be done in robot platforms, and evaluating incremental speech recognition.

Ryan Whetten successfully defended his master’s thesis on automatic speech recognition severity evaluation in March. He will graduate this semester and will continue his education by working on a PhD in Avingon, France. Read more about Ryan’s experience at Boise State and future plans. His thesis work is currently under review for an upcoming conference.

Josue Torres-Fonseca has had a very memorable past few semesters at Boise State University. In 2022, Josue published a paper in LREC and SigDial. He is graduating this semester as a Top Ten Scholar, a real honor for only a few students every year. He is also the recipient of the NSF GRFP award to help fund his PhD, which he will do at the University of Michigan advised by Joyce Chai.

Below is a photo of Josue is giving a speech in the Top Ten Scholar celebration:

speaker at a podium

In April, we had a visit from Chelsea Titus, Principle Conversation Designer at Amazon. She brought her Amazon Astro robot to show Dr. Kennington’s NLP class and the SLIM research group. It was great to see what Amazon is doing in the human-robot interaction domain and how it relates to the work we do in the SLIM Lab.

photo of Astro robot, visitor, and group memebrs

This past semester has been different than any other semester for another reason: ChatGPT. Not just ChatGPT, but other Large Language Models (LLMs). Members of the SLIM group have ample experience with LLMs, so their expertise has been called upon to be on panels discussions about ChatGPT in Education, discussions with business leaders, and seminar talks about how they work. Stay tuned, more is to come!

Finally, Dr. Kennington was invited to be a PhD defense opponent at Gothenburg University, which is both an honor and a bit of work. He presented the candidate’s work to a large group then engaged the candidate in discussion about his work for about an hour, which of course required a lot of preparation. (photo credits below belong to Bill Noble)

photo of speaker and seated candidate

two people having a discussion at a tablegroup of people

The candidate, Bill Noble, passed. You can read about his interesting work here. Gothenburg is a pretty neat city.

person standing in gothenburg

Meanwhile, great work is being done in the SLIM Lab. We’ve been keeping our lab up-to-date and busy working on our next phase of research (see the two Misty II robots?):

photo of lab with tables, computers, and robots