2022 PRELIMINARY PROGRAM                      Subject to change, speakers to be announced

Tuesday, April 12th

Conference Welcome

   A brief introduction to the goals of the conference.

 

Keynote Panel: Today and Tomorrow

   An insightful discussion of the state of conversational technology, highlighting priorities for companies today and planning for the near future.

 

Speech recognition in customer service

   Answering calls from customers with an automated system is standard practice, but customers are easily frustrated with pressing keys to get through layers of options. A conversational system can simply ask why a customer is calling, handling many requests immediately and directing others to appropriately skilled agents. This session discusses what is required to create such systems and insure they are effective.

 

Personal assistants: The new web portal?

   The general personal assistants such as Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and Amazon Alexa are evolving into general web portals, acting as search engines to provide information or to connect with companies. All provide development tools and supporting technology that allow companies to continue a natural-language conversation controlled by the outside company. All companies must eventually converse through these new web portals, just as they must have a web site to be credible today.

 

Company-specific digital assistants

   Conversational systems specific to your company can be particularly effective because of the limited scope of what your customers are likely to ask. Many contacts can be resolved by handling Frequently Asked Questions, leaving more complex issues to agents. Over time, a company digital assistant can handle an increasing range of inquiries. This session discusses tools and platforms that can support creating company-specific conversational systems.

 

Case studies 1

   Speakers discuss what they learned from deployments and gained using conversational technology.

 

Analytics: Insights from unstructured speech or text

   Software that can look for patterns in text or speech databases can help discover answers to inquiries or spot trends, e.g., a new type of problem reflected in recorded customer calls. This session discusses options to enable applying analytics to your “big data.”

 

Natural language technology: Understanding intent

   The goal of Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology is to discover the “intent” of a speech or text request stated in human language. For example, the “intent” of a call to a bank may be to get the current account balance, however the request is stated. AI technology has allowed impressive advances in this challenging technology. This session provides examples of technology sources that support this functionality.

 

Speech recognition technology: Speech-to-text

   Speech recognition can convert speech to text for direct use in entering information without typing—dictation. It can also maintain a spoken conversation in a conversational system by converting speech to text that can be analyzed using NLP technology. Examples and best practices will be discussed.

 

Networking reception

   Stay a bit later and enjoy networking with colleagues.

 

Wednesday, April 13th

 

 

Keynote talk: An international perspective on the conversational interface

The conversational interface is growing most rapidly in the English language but has international appeal. For example, it is growing in use rapidly in China. What are the trends globally in both English and other languages?

 

Best practices in building conversational applications

   Experts provide guidance in developing effective solutions.

 

Chatbots in customer service

   Typing or texting with automated systems on web sites or through smartphone apps is increasingly popular, often with default to agents. This session discusses supporting services and technology.

 

Case studies 2

   Speakers discuss what they learned and gained from deployments using conversational technology.

 

Speech synthesis: Speech-to-text

   Explore options in deploying technology that speaks text naturally to deliver information or to maintain a conversation.

 

Building specialized digital assistants

   Companies can communicate with customers through conversational digital assistants tailored to their products or services. Customers will increasingly be exposed to conversational systems, often through smartphones and home speakers Learn how tools and platforms can allow developing such conversational systems quickly without a research project.

 

Translation

   Resources for translating between languages from speech or text are increasingly effective. This session will review the state of such services.