In Vino Fabulum, Episode No. 6: Toni Ressaire

We are thrilled to welcome Toni Ressaire, a technical communicator, trainer and consultant, to join the In Vino Fabulum podcast for episode no. 6. Besides working with companies in the software development industry on five continents (we secretly think she’s Carmen Sandiego), Toni shares with us her rather non-traditional uses for traditional technology communication (tech comm) tools. She’s currently working with a team developing innovative tools and methodologies to answer the need for information applied to existing and new technologies, such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence (AI), and chatbots.

Fun Wine Facts:

We talked about chatbots and artificial intelligence with Toni extended from conversations held at the Information Energy Conference 2018 (https://www.informationenergy.org/) in the Netherlands earlier this year.

Q: There is a lot of interesting things about your work: you mentioned research and work that is being done to reach an ‘intelligent’ conversation that is more human-like. While it’s not your job to create algorithms and natural language processors, you use them in designing bots and I like understanding the technology behind it. Can you tell us about what is going on in research and how educators could better collaborate with researchers in industry?

A:  AI is still so far away from true machine intelligence. Chatbots will change the way we work because they can help with things like customer service, allowing humans to have time to do more meaningful work. They can do the rote repetitive work, manage phone calls, answer student emails. Chatbots say what you tell them to say, they are not intelligent or learning deeply. They learn patterns based upon the information they gather. We need to teach chatbots intentions, so we give them the questions and answers. They can learn through Twitter and Facebook conversations.  Chatbots don’t have intuition, so they can’t determine when a response is appropriate or not they gather that information to follow dialogue flow accurately. Here are a few chatbot stories http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0325-microsoft-chatbot-20160326-story.html

Q: Are there logic models connected to the chatbots you work with?

A: Toni designs chatbot conversations and dialog flow. She doesn’t work with the logic models (more with scripting chatbots), but is keen to learn and she shared about one of the speakers at the conference: Carlos Perez. READ his Medium article: Alpha Zero: How Intuition Demolished Logic: https://medium.com/intuitionmachine/alphazero-how-intuition-demolished-logic-66a4841e6810

  • Why it failed early, based on logic and newer is based on intuition, alpha zero, gamebot, able to beat logic as it is built on logic
  • Our thinking is based on intuition
  • Logic is the layer on top of intuition. Intuition has traditionally been frowned upon. This is interesting as the tendency is to say we make decisions based upon intuition and that this is not as good as logic.
  • We make decision on patterns based upon patterns

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. — Albert Einstein

Q: Is there any new ideas or projects percolating for you right now that you care to share? You mentioned an article you recently read about intelligence and intuition, and how it got you thinking about human intelligence?

A: According to the article machines that use intuitive cognition perform better than those that use logic. Traditional thinking tells us that logic is more reliable. This is interesting as some same men think in a more logical way, while women tend to be more intuitive and some people align this with capability to do certain jobs such as nurse vs. coder.

  • Twinery http://twinery.org/
  • Small pieces of information, molecular, machine reads and puts together depending on the path you choose
  • Molecular content that can be read by machines

“What I’m afraid of, there’s a huge need for engineers and knowledge of natural language processing language.” ~ Toni Ressaire

  • Traditional basic knowledge
  • Technical and scientific communication (Toni’s background is in journalism)
  • Give a taste of certain things-look at curriculum, 10 years behind, need basic, but approach used, give reading materials easily learned by reading and class time for doing and talking about things like new technologies and how could we use them. Need to allow time for play, exploration and asking questions
  • Computational linguistics-links to programs https://thebestschools.org/rankings/best-computational-linguistics-graduate-programs/
  • Information specialists can no longer deal with only words, must also deal with technology. Must also understand tech so we can understand how to write
  • Chatbot example of how we will need to change our thinking about writing
  • Understand we can’t think in a linear fashion or write, need to be multidimensional like a chatbot
  • Career pathways and directions are fluid and happen if you make them happen!
  • Fun Fact: UNT has a Computational Linguistics, MS degree: https://interdisciplinarystudies.unt.edu/concentrations/computational-linguistics-ms

Q: What recommendations do you have for people thinking about working with chatbots (or, in general, in this field)?

A: These professionals need to be multidisciplinary and be able to collaborate with different parts of chatbot production. It’s recommended to not live in a silo — be sure to partner with other departments, disciplines, or industry partners. READ and REVIEW: The AI #DLNchat summary: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-03-29-dlnchat-how-could-artificial-intelligence-shape-the-future-of-higher-education

Q: Do women in other countries pursue STEM in greater numbers than US?

A: Toni-thinks that because it is a new opportunity for a lot of women in other countries they are jumping on it. Culture differences?

Connect and learn more the interesting things Toni is involved in here:

Do you have a story to share with us on  a future #InVinoFab podcast? Is there someone we should bring on as a future guest? Let us know! Feel free to send us an email: invinofabulum@gmail.com or stay connected for a future episode here of the In Vino Fabulum Podcast:

 

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