Traditional goal-oriented dialogue systems rely on various components such as natural language understanding, dialogue state tracking, policy learning and response generation. Training each component requires annotations which are hard to obtain for every new domain, limiting scalability of such systems. Similarly, rule-based dialogue systems require extensive writing and maintenance of rules and do not scale either. End-to-End dialogue systems, on the other hand, do not require module-specific annotations but need a large amount of data for training. To overcome these problems, in this demo, we present Alexa Conversations, a new approach for building goal-oriented dialogue systems that is scalable, extensible as well as data efficient. The components of this system are trained in a data-driven manner, but instead of collecting annotated conversations for training, we generate them using a novel dialogue simulator based on a few seed dialogues and specifications of APIs and entities provided by the developer. Our approach provides out-of-the-box support for natural conversational phenomenon like entity sharing across turns or users changing their mind during conversation without requiring developers to provide any such dialogue flows. We exemplify our approach using a simple pizza ordering task and showcase its value in reducing the developer burden for creating a robust experience. Finally, we evaluate our system using a typical movie ticket booking task integrated with live APIs and show that the dialogue simulator is an essential component of the system that leads to over 50% improvement in turn-level action signature prediction accuracy.
Code-switching is the communication phenomenon where the speakers switch between different languages during a conversation. With the widespread adoption of conversational agents and chat platforms, code-switching has become an integral part of written conversations in many multi-lingual communities worldwide. Therefore, it is essential to develop techniques for understanding and summarizing these conversations. Towards this objective, we introduce the task of abstractive summarization of Hindi-English (Hi-En) code-switched conversations. We also develop the first code-switched conversation summarization dataset - GupShup, which contains over 6,800 Hi-En conversations and their corresponding human-annotated summaries in English (En) and Hi-En. We present a detailed account of the entire data collection and annotation process. We analyze the dataset using various code-switching statistics. We train state-of-the-art abstractive summarization models and report their performances using both automated metrics and human evaluation. Our results show that multi-lingual mBART and multi-view seq2seq models obtain the best performances on this new dataset. We also conduct an extensive qualitative analysis to provide insight into the models and some of their shortcomings.