Walid S. Saba is the Founder and Principal AI Scientist at ONTOLOGIK.AI where he works on the development of Conversational AI. Prior to this, he was a PrincipalAI Scientist at Astound.ai and Co-Founder and the CTO of Klangoo. He also held various positions at such places as the American Institutes for Research, AT&TBell Labs, Metlife, IBM and Cognos, and has spent 7 years in academia where he taught computer science at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, theUniversity of Windsor, and the American University of Beirut (AUB).


Dr. Saba is frequently an invited speaker at various organizations and is also frequently invited to various panels and podcasts that discuss issues related to AI and Natural Language Processing. He has published over 40 technical articles, including an award-winning paper that was presented at theGerman Artificial Intelligence Conference in 2008. Walid holds a BSc and an MSc in Computer Science as well as a Ph.D. in Computer Science (AI/NLP) which he obtained from Carleton University in 1999.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/ihwhB8C_K0c?list=PLtluUSnvgbdF7MlqjX5-IVMCkFGTrEWlz

Audio Link: https://anchor.fm/minhaaj/episodes/Natural-Language-Understanding—Walid-Saba-e15svma

Timestamps of the Conversation:

00:00 intro

01:00 Language as a mental construct, PAC, Subtext in Sentences

06:28 OpenAI’s Codex Platform, Below Human Baseline Performance of NLP

18:00 Comprehension vs Generation, Search vs Context

19:20 Sophia the Robot, Shallow ethics in AI and Commercialisation of Academia

27:40 Bad Research Papers, Facebook runaway train & AI Godfathers Cult.

32:30 AI leaders and Profiteering, Unethical Behaviour of Influencers.

37:50 Non-Verbal Component of Natural Language Understanding, Prosody and Accuracy Boost

41:33 Ontologik’s NLU Engine, Adjective Ordering Restriction Mystery

43:58 Ontological Structure and Chomsky’s Universal Grammar, Discovery vs Creation

45:31 Entity Extraction and How Ontologik’s Engine tackles this Problem

47:50 Language Agnostic Learning, Foreign Language Learning and Pedagogy of Linguistics

54:00 First Language, Blank State and Missing Sounds in Some Languages

55:20 Real-time Language Translation Engines, AR/VR Aids and Commercial Utiliy

01:01:00 Sentiment Analysis, Language Policing & Censorship

01:04:00 Ontological Structures, Gender Bias and Situational Paradox

01:09:00 3 Foods for Rest of the Life & Fad Food Indulgence

01:11:00 Inspiration for Getting into the Field, Career Ideals & Cultural Influence

01:15:30 Epistemology, IQ and The Bell Curve

01:17:00 Einstein’s IQ, Haircut, Social Skills and Success Rubric

01:22:00 Attracting Brilliant Talent Around the World, Ivy League PhDs & Standardised Testing

01:28:40 Unsupervised Learning, Accuracy & Comprehensibility in NLU

01:30:20 BF Skinner, Pavlovian Dogs, Skinner has been Skinned.

01:37:50 Human Behavioral Biology, Endocrinal System similarities with Humans yet they don’t learn Languages.

01:45:30 Language as an expression of Genetic differences, Big Five & Phenotype.

01:49:40 IBM Watson Personality Insights, Text based personality Inferences.

01:55:30 Long Short Term Memory Issue in Ontologik’s Engine, Computational Complexity, Timeline for Release

Walid’s profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/walidsaba/

Personal Website: https://medium.com/ontologik


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Minhaaj Rehman is CEO & Chief Data Scientist of Psyda Solutions, an AI-enabled academic and industrial research agency focused on psychographic profiling and value generation through machine learning and deep learning.

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