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In the Heart of Silicon Valley


Monday  |  8:00 - 8:45

OPENING KEYNOTE: Breaking Human Interaction Barriers ---- AI, HoloLens and Beyond

Xuedong Huang, Technical Fellow and Chief Speech Scientist, Microsoft

Don’t miss a thing in the Age of Experiences. Come check out how new AI technology from Microsoft empowers multilingual conversations with anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Dr. Huang will talk about bringing together intelligent cloud to intelligent edge with a better-together solution, transfer learning bringing in dramatic improvements and Exchange-To-Exchange (E2E) optimization in Speech Recognition, Text-to-Speech and Machine translation. He will also share how MS amplifies human capabilities with HoloLens and Azure AI to break language, location and time barriers.

Monday  |  8:55 - 9:45 

TRACK 1   |   The opportunity and its challenges

  • Leveraging the voice revolution to strengthen your brand, Rajat Mukherjee, CTO and Co-Founder, Aiqudo

  • Creating an Ethics Policy for Your Artificial Workforce, Robert Harris, President, Communications Advantage, and Martha Buyer, Attorney

TRACK 2   |   The voice and personality of your application

  • Failing gracefully: adaptive/cooperative language design for social robots, Alison Rush, Computational Linguist, SoftBank Robotics America

  • Conveying Personalized Recommendations through VUIs, Eunice Liu, Conversation Designer, Google

Monday  |  9:55 - 10:45 

TRACK 1   |   Holding effective automated conversations

  • Customer Service Conversation Design: Best Practices, Greg Bennett, Lead User Researcher: Einstein Bots, Salesforce

  • Situational Design: Making the Shift to Ambient Computing, Paul Cutsinger, Head of Alexa Voice Design Education, Amazon Alexa

TRACK 2   |   Where AI fits in conversational technology

  • Making a silk purse from a sow’s ear: getting actionable answers from enterprise documents, Marie Meteer, Senior Research Scientist, Pryon

  • AI based Digital Assistant : Compliance in Banking, Bhagvan Kommadi, CEO, Quantica Computacao

Monday  | 10:55 - 12:00

TRACK 1   |   The state of conversational applications

  • Chatbots: Getting to Level 4 and Beyond, Peter Voss, CEO/ Chief Scientist, Aigo.ai Inc

  • Conversations are the New Applications, Somya Kapoor, Chief Product Officier, Aisera

TRACK 2   |   Mixing voice and visual

  • Voice + Visual: Building the right team for multimodal design, Nandini Stocker, Sr. Product Design Manager, Flipkart

  • Voice assisted shopping using contextual clues on screen, Shridhar Pathak, Technical program manager, Amazon

Monday  | 1:15 - 2:15

TRACK 1   |   Effective conversational customer service

  • Connect with Customers: Messaging That Works, Sean Falconer, Developer Advocate, Google

  • Customer Service AI Chatbots Need to Raise the Bar on Quality, Mike Monegan, Vice President of Product Management, Cyara

TRACK 2   |   Advances in conversational systems

  • How Advancements in Edge Computing Can Improve User Experience, Saleel Awsare, SVP, GM, IoT Division, Synaptics

  • Tell me what you want, what you really really want, Ann Thyme-Gobbel, Voice UX/UI Designer

Monday  | 2:25 - 3:25

TRACK 1   |   Digital Assistants in the Enterprise

  • Learnings from an Enterprise Deployment, Tim Carlson, Senior Director & AI Product Manager, Travelers

  • Understanding the company's internal conversation, Harmony Mothibe, Director, BotsZA

TRACK 2   |   Building effective conversational systems

  • The Ground Truth Grind: Strategies for Evaluating the Quality of Labeled Data, Teresa O'Neill, Solutions Architect, NLP, iMerit

  • Which metaphors do and don't work for digital assistants?, Michael Greenberg, Conversation Designer / Voice User Interface Designer, Google

Monday  |  3:35 - 4:15

TRACK 1   |   The evolution of digital assistants

  • 2020 Virtual Assistants Predictions, Yi Zhang, CTO, Rulai, & Professor, UC Santa Cruz 

  • Evolution of design guidelines for enterprise grade digital assistants, Samrat Baul, Principal Conversation Design Lead, Oracle, and Richard Miller, Architect,  Conversational Design, Oracle

TRACK 2   |   Advances in voice technology

  • Securing Conversational Interfaces with Zero-Effort Continuous Authentication, John Amein, Vice President, ID R&D

  • Predicting The Future Through Our Voice, Rana Gujral, CEO, Behavioral Signals

Monday  | 4:30 - 5:30

TRACK 1   |   Best Practices in developing conversational systems

  • Ten Things Every Voice Application Should Do, Jeff Blankenburg, Alexa Evangelist, Amazon Alexa

  • Revisiting the Conversation, Phillip Hunter, Senior Principal Designer, [24]7 AI, and Susan Hura, CEO, Banter Technology

TRACK 2   |   Challenges in conversational interaction

  • Talk or Tap: Who's on First?, Lisa Falkson, Senior VUI Designer, Amazon

  • Voice the Future, Tali Chen, CMO, DSP Group

Monday  |  5:30 - 7:00

Welcome Reception sponsored by Interactions and Grid Dynamics


Tuesday  |  8:00 - 9:15  

KEYNOTE PANEL: Building a digital assistant or chatbot--What works and what doesn't

Tuesday  |  9:25 - 10:10

TRACK 1   |   Conversational technology in customer service and marketing

  • Making the Case for Natural Language Processing in 2020, Lisa Michaud, Senior Product Manager, Interactions

  • As important as a web site? Company-specific digital assistants are effective and necessary, William Meisel, President, TMA Associates

TRACK 2   |   Chatbots: Studies in data creation and trust

Moderator:  Anna Wichansky, Senior Director, Oracle Design Research

  • One percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration: Collecting and processing user utterances for enterprise chatbots, Anna Wichansky & Jayson Webb, Oracle

  • Taking the Chatbot's Word for it? Trust with Enterprise Chatbots, Anna Wichansky & Sneha Kanneganti, Oracle

Tuesday  |  10:20 - 11:05

TRACK 1   |   Best practices in conversational systems

  • Ambient Computing, Natural Language Processing, and the role of Digital Assistants, Daniel Myers, Developer Advocate, Google

  • What are the challenges in teaching conversational machines?, Heloisa Candello, Research Scientist, IBM Research

TRACK 2   |   Building conversational systems

  • Flower Genie: how to build cool and useful Alexa-enabled e-commerce applications using Dialog Flow, Victoria Livschitz, Founder and CTO, Grid Dynamics

  • Using Natural Language Search to Turbocharge your Chatbots, Praful Krishna, CEO, Coseer

Tuesday  |  11:15 - 12:15

TRACK 1   |   Conversational interaction through multiple channels

  • Multi Device Conversational Assistants, Elnaz Nouri, Senior Applied Scientist, Microsoft Research

  • Toward interoperable conversational applications: new standards efforts in conversational interaction, Deborah Dahl, Principal, Conversational Technologies

  • Multimodal Communication with Computers and Robots, James Pustejovsky, Professor, Volen National Center for Complex Systems, Brandeis University

TRACK 2   |   Speech recognition in noisy environments

  • Enabling speech recognition in noidy environments, Adithya Padala, President & CEO, UmeVoice Inc.

  • Intelligent Voice User Interface for Apps, Dashen Fan, CEO, VUI.AI 

Tuesday  |  1:30 - 2:15

TRACK 1   |   Learning from deployed conversational systems

  • How to Use NLU to Get Great CX, Leslie Walker, Associate Director, Human Factors, Concentrix

  • Do we really need a conversational interface? Some challenges in designing for conversational interaction, Michael McTear, Professor, Ulster University

TRACK 2   |   Natural language tools: A wide range of options

  • Deeper Conversational AI for Education, Training, and HR Automation, Dee Kanejiya, Founder & CEO, Cognii

  • Got Data? The role of analytics in conversational interfaces, Arte Merritt, CEO / Co-founder, Dashbot

Tuesday  |  2:25 - 3:25

TRACK 1   |   Developing innovative conversational applications

  • Conversational Voice for daily operations at Oil & Gas Industry, Ramu Sunkara, CEO, Founder, Alan AI, Inc

  • Techniques to personalize conversations for virtual assistants, Jagadish Reddy Nomula, Voicy.AI

  • Think Fast! Using Heuristics in Virtual Assistants, Brandon Sax, Product Design Lead for Xfinity Assistant, Comcast

TRACK 2   |   Building conversational systems that engage users

  • Conversation-First Design, Robert Moore, Research Scientist, IBM Research | Almaden

  • Best Practices in developing conversational systems, Jyo Gadewadikar, Product Manager, Deloitte

  • Building chat automation and conversational systems to engage users and drive customer loyalty, Marina Shumaieva, President and CTO, CruiseBe

Tuesday  |  3:35 - 4:15

TRACK 1   |   Experience with deployed conversational systems

  • Namaste India! - Giving voice to the next 100mn users, Neha Javalagi, Product Designer, Flipkart

  • Augmented Reality (AR) Enabled Conversational AI for 3D Model Interaction, Lukumon Oyedele, Professor, University of the West of England

TRACK 2   |   Creative improvements to the user experience

  • Always empathic but never biased, Wolf Paulus, Principal Engineer, Intuit

  • One Wug Or Two? Or How I Started Thinking About Empathy, Feelings and Design Thinking for Voice, Damien Dabrowski, Sr. VUI Designer, Amazon