Just ASK: Building an Architecture for Extensible Self-Service Spoken Language Understanding


This paper presents the design of the machine learning architecture that underlies the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) a large scale Spoken Language Understanding (SLU) Software Development Kit (SDK) that enables developers to extend the capabilities of Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa. At Amazon, the infrastructure powers over 25,000 skills deployed through the ASK, as well as AWS’s Amazon Lex SLU Service. The ASK emphasizes flexibility, predictability and a rapid iteration cycle for third party developers. It imposes inductive biases that allow it to learn robust SLU models from extremely small and sparse datasets and, in doing so, removes significant barriers to entry for software developers and dialogue systems researchers.

NIPS workshop on conversational AI