Immediately following Interspeech 2007, Alex Shyrokov, Zeljko Medenica and myself attended Sigdial 2007. Alex and I had a paper at the conference, written in collaboration with Peter Heeman. Alex was in charge of giving the presentation and he did an excellent job.
The venue for Sigdial 2007 was the University of Antwerp, specifically a building constructed in 1516. For those of us used to American history, this is pretty impressive Here is a picture from the venue. It shows the courtyard with the sign for the workshop (promoted to a conference in the sign!).
The workshop started with an invited talk by Dr. Herbert Clark. Dr. Clark was Tim Paek‘s advisor at Stanford and Tim was one of the co-organizers of Sigdial 2007. The talk dealt with “some of the consequences of bounded rationality in language,” as Dr. Clark put it in his abstract. Specifically, when we follow (Herbert) Paul Grice‘s model of language use we assume that people act rationally. However, rational action has its bounds. E.g. people don’t actually have an infinite capacity for language processing which would be necessary to always select the spoken expressions dictated by rationality. The talk was very interesting and it was also interesting to hear Dr. Clark’s comparison of his work to that of Herbert Simon who won the 1978 Nobel prize in economics for his ideas on how bounded rationality influences our choices. Btw, this talk was given by one Herbert (Clark) and it touched on the ideas of two other Herberts (Grice and Simon), which is a fact Dr. Clark was happy to point out.
While the workshop would have been worth attending for the invited talk only, there were many more talks that I really enjoyed and learned from. Happily, all the workshop papers
will be are available on the Sigdial 2007 website. I will end this post with another picture from the workshop venue. Here is a picture of the workshop meeting room.