Multilingual Virtual Assistants: Research, Applications, and Scaling to 1,000 Languages

Even as we approach the point in which there will be more virtual assistants than people in the world, major virtual assistants still only support a small fraction of the world’s languages. This limitation is driven by the lack of labeled data, the expense associated with human-based quality assurance, model maintenance and update costs, and more. Innovation is how we will jump these hurdles. This talk will include an overview of massively multilingual NLP research trends; a description of the MASSIVE dataset and competition; and editorialization of promising paths toward a future in which every person on Earth can converse with a virtual assistant in his or her native tongue.