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The project has received funding in the third round of the Dutch Research Agenda programme Research along Routes by Consortia (NWA-ORC). A total of 28 consortia will work in interdisciplinary teams on research that will bring both scientific and societal breakthroughs within reach. The entire knowledge chain and societal organisations, including public as well as private parties, will work closely together in these projects.

A total of more than 149 million euros has been made available. The Dutch Research Agenda has contributed 131 million euros and the remaining 18 million euros is co-funded by the local and international consortium partners. The projects awarded funding focus on questions from society that form the substantive agenda of the NWA.

The consortia contain a wide representation of knowledge organisations as well as societal partners, varying from public parties such as Dutch and international museums, hospitals, universities and knowledge institutions, to foundations, patient associations and other citizen initiatives, municipalities, provinces and government ministries. Industry is also well represented.

LESSEN: Low Resource Chat-based Conversational Intelligence

Our interaction with devices and access to information is increasingly conversational. People express their questions and needs to a system via a conversation; the system responds in a natural way, possibly by asking questions for clarifications, and meets the needs of its users. How do we ensure that this chat technology is also accessible for languages and applications with limited training data and compute power? LESSEN focuses on developing efficient chat algorithms and methodologies that can make optimal use of written conversational data, in a safe and transparent way.

Principal Investigator on behalf of the consortium: prof. dr. Maarten de University Professor of AI and Information Retrieval at the University of Amsterdam.

Consortium: University of Amsterdam, Leiden University, University of Groningen, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Radboud University, Achmea, Albert Heijn, Bol.com, KPN, Rasa Technologies, Ahold Delhaize, National police force.

Amount awarded: 4.6 million Euros.