14–17 Oct 2019

Make Alexa and Siri speak with each other: Toward a universal grammar in AI

Tobias Martens (Universal Namespace)
14:3515:15 Wednesday, 16 October 2019
Location: Westminster Suite

Who is this presentation for?

  • Natural language processing (NLP) engineers, voice interface designers, and IoT original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)




Universal Namespace (UNS) is a new kind of cocreation lab for deep tech innovations. Join Tobias Martens to discover the company’s first project, whoelse.ai—a universal grammar to make AIs talk to each other. It’s also a privacy-by-design standard for language processing in online services and the first intent-marketplace for affiliates.

Together with DIN e. V., the public agency for industry standards in Germany, UNS is developing a standardized API norm for NLP AIs. The goal of this DIN (later: ISO) standard is to make NLP systems interoperable and voice commands, as privacy-by-design encoded intents, dispatchable across different AI ecosystems.

Bias is a huge challenge for interpreting human language in AI, and different NLPs recognize the same voice command each at least slightly differently. Similarly, every user speaks differently—human language is arbitrary. New ideas to efficiently compute human language in AI are needed. Just as hypertext had to be invented for text internet, solutions are needed to make the content of human language linkable as voice internet. Tobias outlines UNS’s findings in developing a publicly accredited standard for human language in AI and presents the company’s first results.

As part of the standardization process, the company currently organizes a multistakeholder working group together with partners from industry and academia. Insights from the standardization commission’s work provide a snapshot of current industry NLP R&D challenges and collaboration opportunities, an introduction to the implications of explainable language in AI for technology governance, and outline new approaches toward the standardization of human language from a social science point of view.

Get involved in the development of the standard and check out further information and background information.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of NLP systems
  • General knowledge of AI terminology

What you'll learn

  • Learn about NLP accountability and interoperability, standardization frameworks for AIs, and the governance implications of language in AI
Photo of Tobias Martens

Tobias Martens

Universal Namespace

Tobias Martens is a researcher with Universal Namespace (UNS), where he’s involved with building a cocreation think tank with a focus on deep tech innovations. UNS works with international Industry 4.0 companies on the adaptation of their corporate organizations through the enablement of employees to “think and work like startups” in, for example, corporate entrepreneurship, Agile methods, and UX-based R&D processes. Previously, Tobias was a cofounder of two VC-financed startups, and he was young advisor of the EU commissioner Neelie Kroes.

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