Verena Rieser is a Professor in Conversational Artificial Intelligence at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, where she is leads the NLP lab and is affiliated with the Interaction Lab and the Edinburgh Center for Robotics. Verena holds a PhD from Saarland University (2008) for which she received a prize for outstanding research. Verena first trained as a linguist and then studied for an MSc in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh, where she later also worked as a postdoctoral researcher (2008-11). Her research focuses on machine learning techniques for spoken dialogue systems and language generation, where she has authored about 100 peer-reviewed papers. For the past two years, Verena and her group were the only UK team to make it through to the finals of the Amazon Alexa Prize. Verena is married with 2 children.