Microsoft’s Xiaoice
Inclusive Conversational AI: The Case of Female Voice Assistants

This post was first published by Amanda Curry and Alana co-Founder Verena Rieser on in June 2020. It is republished here by the kind permission of both authors. The idea of designing an artificial woman is a tale as old as time.

Can an AI assistant beat loneliness?
Using conversational AI to break the silence around workplace loneliness

For someone battling loneliness at work, it only takes one person to make a real difference. But what’s to say that person has to be human?

5 reasons why you should be talking about conversational AI
The business case for Conversational AI: 5 reasons why you should be talking about Conversational AI technology

With the rise of conversational applications, how long is it before your employees and customers expect conversational AI as standard?

Will conversation AI ever require less data
Conversational AI – Could the future be about less data, not big data?

AI and big data are perfect companions, right? It’s indisputable that access to huge volumes of data allows AI assistants to deliver better, faster, more-accurate responses. But there are downsides too. For example, is this reliance on huge amounts of

Photograph of Arash Eshghi
Introducing Dr Arash Eshghi, Head of Linguistics

How would you describe your role at Alana? Alana’s overall goal is the design and implementation of natural, human-like conversational AI. My research on understanding human conversation, feeds directly into that process. In normal conversations, we are not thinking about

Alana and RNIB announce project to develop AI-powered technology for blind and partially sighted people

Ground-breaking AI software that keeps up human-like conversation to be considered as a new tool for people with sight loss  The initial phase of the project will look at ways to enhance existing RNIB support services provided over the telephone

Introducing Ioannis Papaioannou, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer

Ioannis Papaioannou was one of the main developers of Alana when it initially appeared as an entrant in the 2017-2018 Amazon Alexa Prize Competition. He’s been a driving force in defining the technical direction of Alana and continues to encourage

Introducing Professor Verena Rieser, Co-founder and Head of NLP

Verena Rieser is a co-founder of Alana and Head of NLP. Find out how she is bringing ethics to the forefront of the future of the design of conversational AI.

Conversational AI in 2021
“Alana, what can we expect from Conversational AI in 2021?” – Our Top 10 predictions for 2021

Are our AI home assistants one step away from becoming physical, robotic companions? Here are our top 10 predictions for Conversational AI in 2021.

Verena Rieser
Alana co-founder awarded prestigious fellowship from the Royal Society to develop multimodal conversational AI systems

In Summer 2020, Company co-founder Verena Rieser was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship by the Royal Society to develop multimodal Conversational AI systems. The project will contribute to the new research field known as Visual Dialogue, which aims