In Kelly v. Unemployment Compensation Review Board, (Commonwealth Ct. PA, Oct. 17, 2017), a Pennsylvania appellate court affirmed the denial of unemployment compensation benefits to an employee who resigned her job for religious reasons, but did not first inform her employer of her religious concerns.  In the case, petitioner Lori Kelly worked as a project manager for the University of Pittsburgh’s Health Science’s Tissue Bank. Kelly, who is Catholic, became concerned when she learned that some of the fetal tissue samples whose distribution she facilitated came from aborted fetuses.  However she complained at work only about the contentious relationship she had developed with her immediate supervisor.  The court concluded:Respectful of Claimant’s religious beliefs, we must nevertheless affirm the order of the Board denying Claimant unemployment compensation benefits under Section 402(b) based on her failure to notify Employer of her religious objections to Employer’s use of fetal tissue in GUDMAP. Such notification would have provided Employer with an opportunity to accommodate her religious objections by transferring her to a project that did not involve the use of fetal tissue.

Source: http://lslink.info/?c=237r

In Canada in Wednesday, Quebec’s National Assembly passed Bill 62 (full text) which is designed to assure that those providing government services, including subsidized educational institutions, adhere to principles of religious neutrality.  Exceptions in the Act include those engaged in religious instruction in universities, or to prison or university chaplains.  In a section aimed at burqas, the Act bans both those furnishing government services, and those receiving them, from doing so with their face covered, though accommodations are possible. A UPI report on the new law suggests that it will prevent Muslim women who wear the burqa from visiting libraries or riding public buses.  The Act also provides criteria for granting religious accommodations to public employees. Among other things, any accommodation must be

End-to-end dialog systems, in which all components are learnt simultaneously,
have recently obtained encouraging successes. However these were mostly on
conversations related to chit-chat with no clear objective and for which
evaluation is difficult. This paper proposes a set of tasks to test the
capabilities of such systems on goal-oriented dialogs, where goal completion
ensures a well-defined measure of performance. Built in the context of
restaurant reservation, our tasks require to manipulate sentences and symbols,
in order to properly conduct conversations, issue API calls and use the outputs
of such calls. We show that an end-to-end dialog system based on Memory
Networks can reach promising, yet imperfect, performance and learn to perform
non-trivial operations. We confirm those results by comparing our system to a
hand-crafted slot-filling baseline on data from the second Dialog State
Tracking Challenge (Henderson et al., 2014a).

Source: http://lslink.info/?c=QWM