This is an interdisciplinary collaboration between rising researchers in dialogue systems, machine learning, linguistics, learning science, and cognitive science. In this project, Professor Yasuyo Sawaki of the Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences, Associate Professor Yusuke Kondo of Waseda University Global Education Center, and Professor Emeritus Michiko Nakano have agreed to study English education and language test design from their expert perspectives, and Waseda University Academic Solutions Corporation (Akira Miura, President and Representative Director; https://www.w-as.jp/) has resolved to jointly provide learning content and experimental environments. The knowledge of Japanese-English speech recognition, previously accumulated via joint research with Dr. Satoshi Kobashikawa, Senior Researcher at Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) Media Intelligence Laboratories, will also be utilized. Young researchers at the Perceptual Computing Laboratory, represented by Mao Saeki, Hiroaki Takatsu, and Takao Watanabe are engaged in research and development of multimodal dialogue systems for the project. In addition, an international support team comprising Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University (cognitive modeling), Choitek LLC (VR/AR technology), Intelligent Framework Laboratory Co., Ltd. (crowdsourcing technology), Alt Bridge Technology Co., Ltd. (data security), etc. will also join the project.
Dr. Yoichi Matsuyama, the principal investigator, obtained his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the Graduate School of Fundamental Science and Engineering at Waseda University in 2014 and was employed as a post-doctoral fellow (special faculty) at Carnegie Mellon University for four and a half years. He has led various research and developmental projects on conversational AI, such as the Socially-Aware Robot Assistant (SARA), which is an official virtual assistant at the World Economic Forum in Davos, an educational tutoring agent (US Science Foundation grant), and joint research projects with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft. In 2019, he was appointed Associate Research Professor at Waseda University. In the same year, his group was selected for the “Commercialization of Media Services Utilizing Socially-Smart Conversational AI” grant under the “Program for Creating Start-ups from Advanced Research and Technology” (START) offered by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), amounting to a total of approximately $ 1M.
This project was funded by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan (funding name: “Online Language Learning Assistant Support that Grows with humans”). WERU Investment Co., Ltd. (Tadashi Takiguchi, President and CEO) serves as the Business Promoter of the project to build an ecosystem of research and development and for human resource acquisition in Japan and overseas.
Mao Saeki: Automatic Assessment System, Research Associate, Waseda University
Chihiro Tsukahara: Data Analysis, Research Assistant, Waseda University
Kento Inatomi: Automatic Assessment System, Waseda University
Chih-Hao Wang: Grammatical Error Identification, Research Assistant, Waseda University
Ryo Takagi: Test Design, Research Assistant, Waseda University
Yasuyo Sawaki: Professor, Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences, Waseda University
Yusuke Kondo: Associate Professor, Global Education Center, Waseda University
Ralph Rose: Associate Professor, Center for English Language Education in Science and Engineering, Waseda University
Oscar J Romero: Research Scientist, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Christian Lebiere: Professor, Psychology Department, Carnegie Mellon University
Ankit Dangi: Research Engineer, Machine Learning Department, Carnegie Mellon University
Hiroaki Takatsu: Dialogue Systems, Research Scientist, Waseda University
Teppei Nakano: DUCTS Framework, Intelligent Framework Laboratory Inc.
Susumu Saito: Crowdsourcing Framework, Intelligent Framework Laboratory Inc.
Kenshiro Ueda: Crowdsourcing Marketplace, Intelligent Framework Laboratory Inc.
Tomohito Yamazaki: Online Learning Platform, Yamazaki Project Research and Development
John Choi: Character Engine, Choitek LLC
Hiroshi Tamate: Web Development, Tamatebox Creative
Takahiro Miyajima: CEO, Alt Bridge Technology Inc.
Jun Nagatani: System Administrator, Alt Bridge Technology Inc.
Hikari Konishi: Experimental Operation, Alt Bridge Technology Inc.
Tetsunori Kobayashi: Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University
Tetsuji Ogawa: Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University
Shinya Fujie: Professor, Department of Advanced Robotics, Chiba Institute of Technology
Jun Nakagawa: Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Tokyo City University
Taiki Watai: Art Direction, Media Artist
Jun Inagaki: Videography, Media Artist