Fascinated By Movie Robots, iSchool Alum Works on Conversational AI – iSchool | Syracuse University – Syracuse University

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Growing up, Keisuke Inoue’s favorite parts of movies and TV shows weren’t the human actors. He loved the robots and computers – C-3PO in Star Wars, Hal 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the computer in Star Trek, just to name a few. 

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Back then, people who wanted to communicate with robots studied computer science and a subfield of Natural Language Processing. These days, the field of study is known as Conversational Artificial Intelligence. No matter what you call it, Inoue was hooked from an early age and decided to dedicate his career to talking to robots. 

“I was always fascinated by the robots and computers that could communicate with humans through human languages. I mean, who wouldn’t be?” said Inoue, a Syracuse University iSchool graduate who is director of data science at PandoLogic, an AI-driven recruitment technology company based in New York City.

Inoue currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Sarah, who is also an iSchool Ph.D. alumna, and their 10-year-old daughter, Ena, who was born in Syracuse. 

In his role at PandoLogic, Inoue leads the design, research, and implementation of PandoLogic’s AI recruiter chatbot and other AI features used throughout the company’s HR automation technologies. PandoLogic is the leading programmatic job advertising and vendor management platform that is working to revolutionize recruitment and strategic talent acquisition.

“Making computers that can communicate with humans was my career goal, but you now see such technologies everywhere,” Inoue said. “Alexa and Siri are probably the most popular ones out there, but ChatGPT and its competitors, which are based on a relatively new technology called LLM (Large Language Model), are taking-over the headlines for Conversational AI and AI in general.”

Inoue sees opportunities in technology adoption where Conversational AI can help, especially in information access and using AI for good. 

Before joining PandoLogic, Inoue joined a small startup company in NYC called Wade and Wendy, which was making an AI recruiter chatbot in 2018. There, he led the effort to replace the chatbot with an entirely new system, including a new chatbot platform, dialogue flows, database, dashboard and more. PandoLogic acquired the company three years later. 

“At heart, I am a startup guy. I love focusing on solving a small, tangible problem that can make a big impact on people’s lives,” he said. 

‘The Most Influential Professor in My Life’

Before coming to Syracuse, Inoue was a software engineer in Japan in the 1990s with no academic training. As he became more interested in computer science, he decided to seek training in the U.S.

After researching and applying for multiple graduate programs, he chose Syracuse because of the school’s history, curriculum and the natural environment, which was perfect for his love of outdoor sports. 

He started the Syracuse University Triathlon Club and was president for the first few years. He also co-founded the North East Collegiate Triathlon Conference and organized a series of races for the collegiate triathletes. 

During his graduate studies, Inoue took a memorable class on Natural Language Processing with Professor Liz Liddy, now dean emerita. The class and Liddy’s teaching made such an impact on him that he decided to keep pursuing NLP studies.  

“Liz is the most influential professor in my life,” said Inoue, who earned his master of science in computer science in 2002, master of arts in linguistics in 2005 and Ph.D. in information science and technology in 2013 at Syracuse. “I am still thinking about information retrieval and information seeking retrieval 10 years after I graduated from the iSchool.”

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