I'm a Professor and Director of the Interaction Lab in the Dept of Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, working in AI, machine learning, and Natural Language Processing. I previously worked at Edinburgh and Stanford Universities.  

I work on machine learning methods for intelligent and adaptive multimodal interfaces, including  Spoken Language Understanding, Dialogue Systems, Natural Language Generation, and Human-Robot Interaction. Please see my publications (bibtex here).

I am an associate editor of ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems, and previously of ACM Transactions on Speech and Language Processingand on the editorial board of Dialogue and Discourse

[Google scholar]    [Research Gate stats]  [PURE [Bibtex]: here  

Follow me on Twitter @oliverlemon

How to apply for a Phd: [here]   PhD opportunities [here]


  • Guest on Tomorrow's World Live, 22 November 2018
  • Invited talk at BBC Voice+AI conference, 1 Nov 2018
  • Article in The Scotsman, "The Future will still be human", Oct 2018
  • Faculty advisor for team Alana in the Amazon Alexa Challenge 2018
  • BBC documentary:   "The Joy of AI" with Jim Al Khalili , 2018
  • Discussion panel for Royal Bank of Scotland on conversational AI in finance (2018)
  • Keynote speaker at SIGDIAL 2017 [slides]
  • New Scientist: chatbots learn to negotiate (June 2017)
  • Area chair for ACL 2017
  • Amazon have selected our team to enter the Alexa Challenge 2017!
  • EC Horizon 2020 project "MuMMER" 
    • Social Human-Robot Interaction  
  • Programme Committees 2016:
    •  ACL
    • SemDial
    • RE-WOCHAT 
  • New EPSRC project funded: BABBLE (2015): domain-general methods for learning natural spoken dialogue systems
  • New EPSRC project funded: DILIGENT (2015)
  • Area Co-chair: Discourse, Dialogue, and Pragmatics, EMNLP 2015
  • Robotarium kick off event, 2014. 
  • Invited talk at Nuance, California 29/5/13 
  • Advisory Board:  Dialog State Tracking Challenges (2013 - ongoing)
  • Steering Committee: RefNet EPSRC network
  • Member of UK-Health Data Analytics Network (2015 - ) 

Research team/Interaction Lab


Currently (co-)supervising 6 PhD students (Papaioannou, Part,  Shalyminov, Sheppard, Xu, Suglia)

Previous PhD students:
  • Yanchao Yu
  • Ioannis Efstathiou   
  • Heriberto Cuayahuitl (2nd supervisor)
  • Matthew Frampton
  • Srini Janarthanam
  • Ivan Meza-Ruiz   
  • Dave Toney (2nd supervisor)

Publications : Bibtex

Dept/School duties

IRIS room development (Intelligent Room for Interaction Science)
RMAS user group
Robotarium Management Committee
Edinburgh Centre for Robotics/CDT
Open days 2012-2015: speech tech and robotics demos.
Mentoring / probation: 2 Lecturers
REF return 2013: internal reviewer
Postgraduate Induction events
Scottish Crucible
Interview panels and Hiring committees
Exam moderator: Critical Thinking
Internal reviewer: EPSRC and EC grant proposals
Student Recruitment Committee
ESPRC ICT Capability consultation 2015
ESPRC "Human-Like Computing" meetings 2016
Global Research Institute and Research Leaders Forum (HWU) 2016-2018
New building design team (HWU) 2016-2018
Robotarium user group - HRI lab design team lead (2018)

joomla site stats

Twitter Timeline @oliverlemon

Recent research projects:

  • MuMMER (H2020): multimodal mall robot
  • Alana: conversational AI for the Amazon Alexa Challenge
  • JAMES (FP7) : socially intelligent multimodal Human-Robot Interaction
  • SpaceBook (FP7) : spatially-aware mobile speech interfaces 
  • Help4Mood (FP7) : virtual characters for health applications
  • STAC (ERC) : non-cooperative strategic dialogue agents
  • PARLANCE (FP7) : incremental mobile statistical spoken dialogue systems
  • SpeechCity (EPSRC Impact Acceleration) : mobile speech apps for city dwellers

Completed Projects:

 http://www.classic-project.org (Coordinator, EC FP7, 2008-2011)
"Computational Learning in Adaptive Systems for Spoken Conversation" 

TALK: EC FP6 (Scientific Coordinator, 2004-2006)

ECHOES: ESRC/EPSRC Technology Enhanced Learning 
(Principal Investigator) (2008-2011)

Advanced Dialogue Tools ("DUDE"): Scottish Enterprise (Principal Investigator) (2008-2009)

EPSRC: End-to End Statistical Dialogue Systems
 ("StatDial"):   (Principal Investigator) (2007-2009)