A further comment on deep methods being state of the art currently:
I wonder how well these tasks really measure progress in natural language understanding (I really don't like isolating that term as some distinct subdiscipline of broader AI goals, but so be it). Some of Chris Manning's students have at least started down the path of examining some of these new-traditional tasks in language, and found that perhaps they are not so hard as they claim to be.
 A Thorough Examination of the CNN/Daily Mail Reading Comprehension Task. Chen, Bolton & Manning [https://arxiv.org/abs/1606.02858]
IME as a chatbot developer, people don't talk to them in conversational english so much as spit out what they want it to do.