Layla El Asri
Research Manager, Microsoft Research Lab – Montréal
The dialogue systems scientist
Layla El Asri’s current focus involves teaching machines to think, reason and communicate. The work is a natural progression stemming from her PhD research in computer science at the Université de Lorraine in France. There, in a joint project between the school and Orange Labs (the research and development branch of French telecommunication company Orange), her research focused on exploring the parameters of reinforcement learning for dialogue systems. Layla proposed novel methods to learn a reward function from a set of dialogues that were rated by humans, as well as developed an interpretable representation of the state space. Today, her main research interests are the evaluation of dialogue systems, offline learning on human/human dialogues, and multimodal dialogue.