Hey, Siri! Ok, Google! How machines learn to understand our language

6 November 2019, 19:00
Prof. Dr. Alexander Koller, Saarland University
As part of the series "Excursion – Insight into the world of science"

Prof. Dr. Alexander Koller | © Alexander Koller

Prof. Dr. Alexander Koller | © Alexander Koller

German Research Foundation, logo

About the event

Cumbersome text inputs are a thing of the past: We have been able to control smartphones and other technical devices via language assistants for a long time. Siri developed by Apple manages the appointment calendar on the iPhone, Amazon’s Alexa looks for train connections and Google Home announces the opening hours of every museum locatable on the Internet within seconds. What had been science fiction only a few years ago has become real today: The number of technical devices in our everyday lives that can be operated through language, from cars to refrigerators, is increasing.

How do these language assistants work?
What are the technical and linguistic challenges?

The computer linguist Alexander Koller researches new methods enabling digital language assistants to capture the meaning of spoken sentences as accurately and completely as possible. In his lecture, he will show how digital language assistants work, what their limits are and what technical developments there are in store for the coming years.

The German Research Foundation cordially invites you to this lecture.

Information overview

Date6 November 2019, 19:00
VenueBayerische Staatsbibliothek, Fürstensaal, 1st floor
Ludwigstr. 16, 80539 Munich
Public transportUnderground lines U3/ U6, bus lines 58/ 68/ 153/ 154, station/ bus stop Universität
Bus lines 100/ 153, bus stop Von-der-Tann-Strasse
RegistrationPlease register by e-mail to or by calling +49 89 28638-2115

Reserved seats need to be occupied 15 minutes before the start of the event at the latest.

By participating, you declare your approval of possibly being seen on recordings which will be used within the scope of the public relations work of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.
AdmissionAdmission is free.
FlyerDownload of the event flyer  (PDF, 1.9 MB)