Alexa Prize 3

Do you know that DreamBot can talk with you on any topic?

Yesterday, I was in a hurry to pack things, as I had to fly to another country on business. I knew that the flight would be long and with transfers. I had very little time and I did not know what to do: after all, you need to pack a suitcase, find out what the weather will be on arrival, choose books, music, movies for the road! Besides, my playlist hasn't been updated for a long time. What might you do during the flight? And I decided to turn to our DreamBot. After all, Denis (a member of our team) has upgraded the retrieval skill (RS) which covers all these issues, and maybe even more. 

RS means that the search for the correct answer is carried out from the set of available answers. That is, there is a certain number of prepared answers and the task is to find the most appropriate answer in terms of meaning. This skill includes topics about books, entertainment, fashion, movies, music, politics, science technology, and sport. Why are only these topics chose? According to our review, they are the most popular among users. Besides, we used data from the Topic Chat dataset, where these topics were had been already set. The dataset was developed for teams competing in the Alexa Socialbot Prize Grand Challenge 3. The Topical Chat dataset consists of more than 210,000 utterances (over 4,100,000 words), which makes it the largest social conversation and knowledge dataset publicly available to the research community, supports the publication of high quality, repeatable research.

How does the RS work? 

The essence of this skill is quite simple. The request from the user converted to text, in turn, goes to the agent. Agents are colloquially known as bots. The agent's task is to run models, link together and control them. On an incoming request, one of the models (which is responsible for the classification of skills) refers to the message to one of the topics. Further, the agent chooses the skill appropriate to the topic, for instance, "What is your favorite movie ?" ( movie topic). The classifier issues the movie topic, the agent receives the information and selects the retrieval skill that is responsible for the movie skill. A movie skill gives a suitable response. 

To visually explain to you the functions of this skill, I will give an example of my conversation with DreamBot before my departure. 

DREAMBOT: Good Evening, this is an Alexa Prize Socialbot! How are you? 
USER: All is well! And you? Do you like books?
DREAMBOT: Not bad! I don't reach much at all. In fact i'd struggle to think of a fiction title that i've read, but i prefer informational books, like a books about animals, science etc. What is your favorite genre?
USER: I like detective books. Can you recommend me detective books or films?
DREAMBOT: I will definitely recommend you a book! "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" is one of my favorite cheerful mystery novel series.
USER: Oh! I think this is what I need!
DREAMBOT: I think you might enjoy it!
USER: I haven't been to a movie in a thousand years! What movies are popular now?
DREAMBOT: According to IMDb, the most popular movies are "1917" at #1, "Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker" at #2, and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" at #3. 
USER: What about "Star Wars"?
DREAMBOT: Star Wars executive producers are george lucas, j. j. abrams, jason mcgatlin, john knoll, tom karnowski, and tommy harper. And speaking of stars, do you know there are stars that are cold enough to be touch by the human hand? weird to think about when you consider our sun is a star. . . 
USER: Wow! Now I know exactly! Let's talk about music? 
DREAMBOT: Why not? Tell me your favorite music artist!
USER: I love to listen Eminem! Do you know who is Eminem?
DREAMBOT: Marshall Bruce Mathers III, known professionally as Eminem, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and record executive. He is one of the most successful musical artists of the 21st century.
USER: Do you recommend me his popular songs ?
DREAMBOT: Eminem announced the release of his 11th album "Music to be Murdered by". I imagine that's good for you.
USER: Amazing right! What is your favorite music?
DREAMBOT: I love rock, i like to play the bass and would like to play violin!
USER: Very nice! You are such a versatile! So, what about sports? For example my brother likes to play football.
DREAMBOT: I can't play sport because I am a socialbot, so I just like to watch it! What about you?
USER: Hmm... I like sports, because I wanna be 100%
DREAMBOT: I think it's a great motivation!
USER: Oh no, I have to go to the airport! So, goodbye!
DREAMBOT: Have a good flight and great day!

This is how I managed my task while I was packing my suitcase. But our team still has a lot to improve. And we don't stop there in any way. Soon we will tell you many more interesting things!!