Multimodal Conversation

This document is also available in MS Word format MPAI-MMC Call for Technologies

1       Introduction.

2       How to submit a response.

3       Evaluation Criteria and Procedure.

4       Expected development timeline.

5       References.

Annex A: Information Form..

Annex B: Evaluation Sheet

Annex C: Requirements check list

Annex D: Technologies that may require specific testing.

Annex E: Mandatory text in responses.

1        Introduction

Moving Picture, Audio and Data Coding by Artificial Intelligence (MPAI) is an international non-profit organisation with the mission to develop standards for Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled digital data coding and for technologies that facilitate integration of data coding components into ICT systems. With the mechanism of Framework Licences, MPAI seeks to attach clear IPR licensing frameworks to its standards.

MPAI has found that the application area called “Context-based Audio Enhancement” is particul­arly relevant for MPAI standardisation because using context information to act on the input audio content can substantially improve the user experience of a variety of audio-related applications that include entertainment, communication, teleconferencing, gaming, post-produc­tion, restor­ation etc. for a variety of contexts such as in the home, in the car, on-the-go, in the studio etc.

Therefore, MPAI intends to develop a standard – to be called MPAI-MMC – that will provide standard tech­nologies to implement four Use Cases identified so far:

  1. Conversation with emotion
  2. Multimodal Question Answering
  3. Personalized Automatic Speech Translation

This document is a Call for Technologies (CfT) that

  1. Satisfy the MPAI-MMC Functional Requirements of N153 [6] and
  2. Are released according to the MPAI-MMC Framework Licence (N173) [9], if selected by MPAI for in­clusion in the MPAI-MMC standard.

The standard will be developed with the following guidelines:

  1. To satisfy the MPAI-MMC Functional Requirements (N153) [6]. In the future, MPAI may decide to extend MPAI-MMC to support other Use Cases as a part of this MPAI-CAE standard or as a future extension of it.
  2. To use, where feasible and desirable, the same basic tech­nol­ogies required by the companion document MPAI-CAE Use Cases and Functional Requir­ements [3].
  3. To be suitable for implementation as AI Modules (AIM) conforming to the emerging MPAI AI Framework (MPAI-AIF) standard based on the responses to the MPAI-AIF Call for Technologies (N100) [1] MPAI-AIF Functional Requirements (N74) [1].

MPAI has decided to base its application standards on the AIM and AIF notions whose functional requirements have been identified in [1] rather than follow the approach of defining end-to-end systems. It has done so because:

  1. AIMs allow the reduction of large problems to sets of smaller problems.
  2. AIMs can be independently developed and made available to an open competitive market.
  3. An application developer can build a sophisticated and complex system MPAI system with potentially limited know­ledge of all the tech­nologies required by the system.
  4. An MPAI system has a high-level of inherent explainability.
  5. MPAI systems allow for competitive comparisons of functionally equivalent AIMs.

Respondents should be aware that:

  1. Use Cases that make up MPAI-MMC, the Use Cases themselves and the AIM internals will be non-normative.
  2. The input and output interfaces of the AIMs, whose requirements have been derived to support the Use Cases, will be normative.

Therefore, the scope of this Call for Technologies is restricted to technologies required to implement the input and output interfaces of the AIMs identified in N153 [6].

However, MPAI invites comments on any technology or architectural component identified in N153, specifically,

  1. Additions or removals of input/output signals to the identified AIMs with justification of the changes and identification of data formats required by the new input/output signals.
  2. Possible alternative partitioning of the AIMs implementing the example cases providing:
    1. Arguments in support of the proposed partitioning
    2. Detailed specifications of the input and output data of the proposed new AIMs
  3. New Use Cases fully described as in N153.

All parties who believe they have relevant technologies satisfying all or most of the requirements of one or more than one Use Case described in N153 are invited to submit proposals for consid­eration by MPAI. MPAI membership is not a prerequisite for responding to this CfT. However, proponents should be aware that, if their proposal or part thereof is accepted for inclusion in the MPAI-MMC standard, they shall immediately join MPAI, or their accepted technologies will be discarded.

MPAI will select the most suitable technologies based on their technical merits for inclusion in MPAI-MMC. However, MPAI in not obligated, by virtue of this CfT, to select a particular tech­nology or to select any technology if those submitted are found inadequate.

Submissions are due on 2021/04/12T23:59 UTC and should be sent to the MPAI secretariat (secretariat@mpai.community). The secretariat will acknowledge receipt of the submission via email. Submissions will be reviewed according to the schedule that the 7th MPAI General Assembly (MPAI-7) will define at its online meeting on 2021/04/14. For details on how submitters who are not MPAI members can attend the said review please contact the MPAI secretariat (secretariat@mpai.community).

2        How to submit a response

Those planning to respond to this CfT:

  1. Are advised that online events will be held on 2021/02/24 and 2021/03/10 to present the MPAI-MMC CfT and respond to questions. Logistic information on these events will be posted on the MPAI web site.
  2. Are requested to communicate their intention to respond to this CfT with an initial version of the form of Annex A to the MPAI secretariat (secretariat@mpai.community) by 2021/03/16. A potential submitter making a communication using the said form is not required to actually make a submission. A submission will be accepted even if the submitter did not communicate their intention to submit a response by the said date.
  3. Are advised to visit regularly the https://mpai.community/how-to-join/calls-for-technologies/ web site where relevant information will be posted.

Responses to this MPAI-MMC CfT shall/may include:

Table 1 – Mandatory and optional elements of a response

Item Status
Detailed documentation describing the proposed technologies mandatory
The final version of Annex A mandatory
The text of Annex B duly filled out with the table indicating which requirements identified in MPAI N151 [3] are satisfied. If all the requirements of a Use Case are not satisfied, this should be explained. mandatory
Comments on the completeness and appropriateness of the MPAI-MMC functional requirem­ents and any motivated suggestion to amend and/or extend those requir­ements. optional
A preliminary demonstration, with a detailed document describing it. optional
Any other additional relevant information that may help evaluate the submission, such as additional use cases. optional
The text of Annex E. mandatory

Respondents are invited to take advantage of the check list of Annex C before submitting their response and filling out Annex A.

Respondents are mandatorily requested to present their submission at a teleconference meeting to be properly announced to submitters by the MPAI Secretariat. If no presenter od a submission will attend the meeting, the submission will be discarded.

Respondents are advised that, upon acceptance by MPAI of their submission in whole or in part for further evaluation, MPAI will require that:

  • A working implementation, including source code – for use in the development of the MPAI-MMC Reference Software and later publication as an MPAI standard– be made available before the technology is accepted for inclusion in the MPAI-MMC standard. Software may be written in programming languages that can be compiled or interpreted and in hardware description languages.
  • The working implementation be suitable for operation in the MPAI AIF Framework (MPAI-AIF).
  • A non-MPAI member immediately join MPAI. If the non-MPAI member elects not to do so, their submission will be discarded. Direction on how to join MPAI can be found online.

Further information on MPAI can be obtained from the MPAI website.

3        Evaluation Criteria and Procedure

Proposals will be assessed using the following process:

  1. Evaluation panel is created from:
    1. All MMC-DC members attending.
    2. Non-MPAI members who are respondents.
    3. Non respondents/non MPAI member experts invited in a consulting capacity.
  2. No one from 1.1.-1.2. will be denied membership in the Evaluation panel.
  3. Respondents present their proposals.
  4. Evaluation Panel members ask questions.
  5. If required subjective and/or objective tests are carried out:
    1. Define required tests.
    2. Carry out the tests.
    3. Produce report.
  6. At least 2 reviewers will be appointed to review & report about specific points in a proposal if required.
  7. Evaluation panel members fill out Annex B for each proposal.
  8. Respondents respond to evaluations.
  9. Proposal evaluation report is produced.

4        Expected development timeline

Timeline of the CfT, deadlines and response evaluation:

Table 2 – Dates and deadlines

Step Date
Call for Technologies 2021/02/17
CfT introduction conference call 1 2021/02/24T14:00 UTC
CfT introduction conference call 2 2021/03/10T15:00 UTC
Notification of intention to submit proposal 2021/03/16T23.59 UTC
Submission deadline 2021/04/12T23.59 UTC
Evaluation of responses will start 2021/04/14 (MPAI-7)

Evaluation to be carried out during 2-hour sessions according to the calendar agreed at MPAI-7.

5        References

  1. MPAI-AIF Use Cases and Functional Requirements, N74; https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-aif/
  2. MPAI-AIF Call for Technologies, MPAI N100; https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-aif/#Technologies
  3. MPAI-AIF Framework Licence, MPAI N171; https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-aif/#Licence
  4. MPAI-CAE Use Cases & Functional Requirements; MPAI N151; https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-cae/#UCFR
  5. MPAI-CAE Call for Technologies, MPAI N152; https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-cae/#Technologies
  6. MPAI-CAE Framework Licence, MPAI N171; https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-cae/#Licence
  7. Draft MPAI-MMC Use Cases & Functional Requirements; MPAI N153; https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-mmc/#UCFR
  8. Draft MPAI-MMC Call for Technologies, MPAI N154; https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-mmc/#Technologies
  9. MPAI-MMC Framework Licence, MPAI N173; https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-mmc/#Licence

Annex A: Information Form

This information form is to be filled in by a Respondent to the MPAI-MMC CfT

  1. Title of the proposal
  2. Organisation: company name, position, e-mail of contact person
  3. What are the main functionalities of your proposal?
  4. Does your proposal provide or describe a formal specification and APIs?
  5. Will you provide a demonstration to show how your proposal meets the evaluation criteria?

Annex B: Evaluation Sheet

NB: This evaluation sheet will be filled out by members of the Evaluation Team.

Proposal title:

Main Functionalities:

Response summary: (a few lines)

Comments on Relevance to the CfT (Requirements):

Comments on possible MPAI-MMC profiles[1]

Evaluation table:

Table 3 – Assessment of submission features

Note 1 The semantics of Submission features is provided by Table 4
Note 2 Evaluation elements indicate the elements used by the evaluator in assessing the submission
Note 3 Final Assessment indicates the ultimate assessment based on the Evaluation Elements

 

Submission features Evaluation elements Final Assessment
Completeness of description

Understandability

Extensibility

Use of Standard Technology

Efficiency

Test cases

Maturity of reference implementation

Relative complexity

Support of MPAI use cases

Support of non-MPAI use cases

Content of the criteria table cells:

Evaluation facts should mention:

  • Not supported / partially supported / fully supported.
  • What supported these facts: submission/presentation/demo.
  • The summary of the facts themselves, e.g., very good in one way, but weak in another.

Final assessment should mention:

  • Possibilities to improve or add to the proposal, e.g., any missing or weak features.
  • How sure the evaluators are, i.e., evidence shown, very likely, very hard to tell, etc.
  • Global evaluation (Not Applicable/ –/ – / + / ++)

 New Use Cases/Requirements Identified:

(please describe)

Evaluation summary:

  • Main strong points, qualitatively:
  •  Main weak points, qualitatively:
  • Overall evaluation: (0/1/2/3/4/5)

0: could not be evaluated

1: proposal is not relevant

2: proposal is relevant, but requires significant more work

3: proposal is relevant, but with a few changes

4: proposal has some very good points, so it is a good candidate for standard

5: proposal is superior in its category, very strongly recommended for inclusion in standard

Additional remarks: (points of importance not covered above.)

The submission features in Table 3 are explained in the following Table 4.

Table 4 – Explanation of submission features

Submission features Criteria
Completeness of description Evaluators should

1.     Compare the list of requirements (Annex C of the CfT) with the submission.

2.     Check if respondents have described in sufficient detail to what part of the requirements their proposal refers to.

NB1: Completeness of a proposal for a Use Case is a merit because reviewers can assess that the components are integrated.

NB2: Submissions will be judged for the merit of what is proposed. A submission on a single technology that is excellent may be considered instead of a submission that is complete but has a less performing technology.

Understandability Evaluators should identify items that are demonstrably unclear (incon­sistencies, sentences with dubious meaning etc.)
Extensibility Evaluators should check if respondent has proposed extensions to the Use Cases.

NB: Extensibility is the capability of the proposed solution to support use cases that are not supported by current requirements.

Use of standard Technology Evaluators should check if new technologies are proposed where widely adopted technologies exist. If this is the case, the merit of the new tech­nology shall be proved.
Efficiency Evaluators should assess power consumption, computational speed, computational complexity.
Test cases Evaluators should report whether a proposal contains suggestions for testing the technologies proposed
Maturity of reference implementation Evaluators should assess the maturity of the proposal.

Note 1: Maturity is measured by the completeness, i.e., having all the necessary information and appropriate parts of the HW/SW implementation of the submission disclosed.

Note 2: If there are parts of the implementation that are not disclosed but demonstrated, they will be considered if and only if such components are replicable.

Relative complexity Evaluators should identify issues that would make it difficult to implement the proposal compared to the state of the art.
Support of MPAI-MMC use cases Evaluators should check how many use cases are supported in the submission
Support of non MPAI-MMC use cases Evaluators should check whether the technologies proposed can demonstrably be used in other significantly different use cases.

Annex C: Requirements check list

Please note the following acronyms

KB Knowledge Base
QF Query Format

Table 5 – List of technologies identified in MPAI-MMC N153 [6]

Note: The numbers in the first column refer to the section numbers of N153 [6].

Technologies by Use Cases Response
Conversation with Emotion
4.2.4.1 Text Y/N
4.2.4.2 Digital Speech Y/N
4.2.4.3 Digital Video Y/N
4.2.4.4 Emotion Y/N
4.2.4.5 Emotion KB (speech) query format Y/N
4.2.4.6 Emotion KB (text) query format Y/N
4.2.4.7 Emotion KB (video) query format Y/N
4.2.4.8 Meaning Y/N
4.2.4.9 Dialog KB query format – by tomorrow Y/N
4.2.4.10 Input to speech synthesis (Reply) Y/N
4.2.4.11 Input to face animation Y/N
Multimodal Question Answering
4.3.4.1 Text Y/N
4.3.4.2 Digital Speech Y/N
4.3.4.3 Digital Image Y/N
4.3.4.4 Image KB query format Y/N
4.3.4.5 Object identifier Y/N
4.3.4.6 Meaning Y/N
4.3.4.7 Intention KB query format Y/N
4.3.4.8 Online dictionary query format Y/N
Personalized Automatic Speech Translation
4.4.4.1 Text Y/N
4.4.4.2 Digital Speech Y/N
4.4.4.3 Speech features Y/N
4.4.4.4 Language identification Y/N
4.4.4.5 Translation results Y/N

Respondent should consult the equivalent list in N152 [5]

Annex D: Technologies that may require specific testing

Conversation with Emotion Speech features
Conversation with Emotion Text features
Conversation with Emotion Video features
Multimodal Question Answering Image features
Personalised Automatic Speech Translation Speech features

 Additional technologies may be identified during the evaluation phase.

Annex E: Mandatory text in responses

A response to this MPAI-MMC CfT shall mandatorily include the following text

<Company/Member> submits this technical document in response to MPAI Call for Technologies for MPAI project MPAI-MMC (N153).

 <Company/Member> explicitly agrees to the steps of the MPAI standards development process defined in Annex 1 to the MPAI Statutes (N80), in particular <Company/Member> declares that  <Com­pany/Member> or its successors will make available the terms of the Licence related to its Essential Patents according to the Framework Licence of MPAI-MMC (N171), alone or jointly with other IPR holders after the approval of the MPAI-MMC Technical Specif­ication by the General Assembly and in no event after commercial implementations of the MPAI-MMC Technical Specification become available on the market.

In case the respondent is a non-MPAI member, the submission shall mandatorily include the following text

If (a part of) this submission is identified for inclusion in a specification, <Company>  understands that  <Company> will be requested to immediately join MPAI and that, if  <Company> elects not to join MPAI, this submission will be discarded.

Subsequent technical contribution shall mandatorily include this text

<Member> submits this document to MPAI-MMC Development Committee (MMC-DC) as a con­tribution to the development of the MPAI-MMC Technical Specification.

 <Member> explicitly agrees to the steps of the MPAI standards development process defined in Annex 1 to the MPAI Statutes (N80), in particular  <Company> declares that <Company> or its successors will make available the terms of the Licence related to its Essential Patents according to the MPAI-MMC Framework Licence (N173), alone or jointly with other IPR holders after the approval of the MPAI-MMC Technical Specification by the General Assembly and in no event after commercial implementations of the MPAI-MMC Technical Specification become available on the market.

[1] Profile of a standard is a particular subset of the technologies that are used in a standard and, where applicable, the classes, subsets, options and parameters relevan for the subset.


Template for responses to the Call for Technologies

This document is also available in MS Word format Template for responses to the MPAI-MMC Call for Technologies

Abstract

This document is provided as a help to those who intend to submit responses to the MPAI-CAE Call for Technologies. Text in red(as in this sentence) provides guidance to submitters and should not be included in a submission. Text in green shall be mandatorily included in a submission. If a submission does not include the green text, the submission will be rejected.

If the submission is in multiple files, each file shall include the green statement.

Text in white is the text suggested to respondents for use in a submission.

1        Introduction

This document is submitted by <organisation name> (if an MPAI Member) and/or by <organ­is­ation name>, a <company, university etc.> registered in … (if a non-MPAI member) in response to the MPAI-MMC Call for Technol­ogies issued by Moving Picture, Audio and Data Coding by Artificial Intelligence (MPAI) on 2021/02/17 as MPAI document N154.

In the opinion of the submitter, this document proposes technologies that satisfy the requirements of MPAI-MMC Use Cases & Functional Requirements issued by MPAI on 2020/02/17 as MPAI document N153.

Possible additions

This document also contains comments on the requirements as requested by N153.

This document also contains proposed technologies that satisfy additional requirements as allowed by N153.

<Company and/or Member> explicitly agrees to the steps of the MPAI standards development process defined in Annex 1 to the MPAI Statutes (N80), in particular <Company and or Member> declares that  <Company and or Member> or its successors will make available the terms of the Licence related to its Essential Patents according to the MPAI-MMC Framework Licence (N171), alone or jointly with other IPR holders after the approval of the MPAI-MMC Technical Specif­ication by the MPAI General Assembly and in no event after commercial implem­entations of the MPAI-MMC Technical Specification become available on the market.

< Company and/or Member> acknowledges the following points:

  1. MPAI in not obligated, by virtue of this CfT, to select a particular technology or to select any technology, if those submitted are found inadequate.
  2. MPAI may decide to use the same technology for functionalities also requested in the MPAI-CAE Call for Technologies (N172) and associated Functional Requirements (N171).
  3. A representative of <Company and/or Member> shall present this submission at a CAE-DC meeting communicated by MPAI Secretariat (mailto:secretariat@mpai.community). If no <Company and/or Member> will attend the meeting and present the submission, this submission will be discarded.
  4. <Company and/or Member> shall make available a working implementation, including source code – for use in the development of the MPAI-CAE Reference Software and eventual public­ation by MPAI as a normative standard – before the technology submitted is accepted for the MPAI-CAE standard
  5. The software submitted may be written in programming languages that can be compiled or interpreted and in hardware description languages, upon acceptance by MPAI for further eval­uation of their submission in whole or in part.
  6. <Company> shall immediately join MPAI upon acceptance by MPAI for further evaluation of this submission in whole or in part.
  7. If <Company> does not join MPAI, this submission shall be discarded.

2        Information about the submission

This information corresponds to Annex A on N154. It is included here for submitter’s convenience.

  1. Title of the proposal
  2. Organisation: company name, position, e-mail of contact person
  3. What are the main functionalities of your proposal?
  4. Does your proposal provide or describe a formal specification and APIs?
  5. Will you provide a demonstration to show how your proposal meets the evaluation criteria?

3        Comments on/extensions to requirements (if any)

 

4        Overview of Requirements supported by submission

Please answer Y or N. Detail on the specific answers can be provided in the submission.

Technologies by Use Cases Response
Conversation with Emotion
4.2.4.1 Text Y/N
4.2.4.2 Digital Speech Y/N
4.2.4.3 Digital Video Y/N
4.2.4.4 Emotion Y/N
4.2.4.5 Emotion KB (speech) query format Y/N
4.2.4.6 Emotion KB (text) query format Y/N
4.2.4.7 Emotion KB (video) query format Y/N
4.2.4.8 Meaning Y/N
4.2.4.9 Dialog KB query format – by tomorrow Y/N
4.2.4.10 Input to speech synthesis (Reply) Y/N
4.2.4.10 Input to face animation Y/N
Multimodal Question Answering
4.3.4.1 Text Y/N
4.3.4.2 Digital Speech Y/N
4.3.4.3 Digital Image Y/N
4.3.4.4 Image KB query format Y/N
4.3.4.5 Object identifier Y/N
4.3.4.6 Meaning Y/N
4.3.4.7 Intention KB query format Y/N
4.3.4.8 Online dictionary query format Y/N
Personalized Automatic Speech Translation
4.4.4.1 Text Y/N
4.4.4.2 Digital Speech Y/N
4.4.4.3 Speech features Y/N
4.4.4.4 Language identification Y/N
4.4.4.5 Translation results Y/N

5        New Proposed requirements (if any)

1. Y/N
2. Y/N
3. Y/N

6. Detailed description of submission

6.1       Proposal chapter #1

6.2       Proposal chapter #2

….

7        Conclusions

 

Clarifications of the Call for Technologies

MPAI-5 has approved the MPAI-MMC Use Cases and Functional Requirements as attachment to the Call for Technologies N173. However, MMC-DC has identified some issues that are worth a clarification. This is posted on the MPAI web site and will be com­mun­icated to those who have informed the Secretariata of their intention to respond.

General issue

MPAI understands that the scope of both N151 and N153 is very broad. Therefore it reiterates the point made in N152 and N154 that:

Completeness of a proposal for a Use Case is a merit because reviewers can assess that the components are integrated. However, submissions will be judged for the merit of what is proposed. A submission on a single technology that is excellent may be considered instead of a submission that is complete but has a less performing technology.

Multimodal Question Answering (Use case #2 in N153)

MPAI welcomes submission that propose a standard set of “type of question intentions” and the means to indicate the language used in the Query Format.

MPAI welcomes proposals that propose a concept format for Reply in addition to or instead of a text format.

The assessment of submissions by Respondents who elect to not consider this point in their submission will not influence the assessment of the rest of their submission

References

  1. MPAI-MMC Use Cases & Functional Requirements; MPAI N153; https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-mmc/#UCFR
  2. MPAI-MMC Call for Technologies, MPAI N154; https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-mmc/#Technologies
  3. MPAI-MMC Framework Licence, N173; https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-mmc/#Licence