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Is the Way You're Designing Conversational and Voice Interfaces Designed to...

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Betaworks Studios

29 Little West 12th Street

New York, NY 10014

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We feature two expert speakers on conversational voice for this event, Mark Webster from Adobe and Rebecca Evanhoe from Amazon Web Services.

The majority of voice interfaces are experienced as assistants whose goal is to appear as “human” as possible. Siri, Alexa, and Cortana all have names, genders, and the same inflections and intonations as real people. They even tell us jokes. As creators, we’re approaching voice experiences as conversational, and we talk of voice being a “natural” medium, liberated from the constraints and conventions inherent in other interfaces.

For skill building past the assistants on these platforms, Mark proposes that all in on human-like is the wrong approach, destined for failure and holding back true ubiquity for voice-first user experiences.

In the first session, Mark will discuss how we’ve been ignoring the lessons user experience design has to teach us about each time a new form of digital interaction has been introduced, why voice isn’t much different, and what we all should do to overcome the hurdles surrounding voice and design, outlining potential solutions to challenges in the market and what that means for the future of voice.

While casual language or customized greetings seem like a human touch, they're not what makes a bot meaningfully engage on a more human level. Rebecca will share what you should focus on instead.

Event Schedule:

6:00 PM Networking & Food, Beer
6:30 PM Kickoff & Sponsors (Betaworks Studios)
6:35 PM Mark Webster, Director at Adobe
7:20 PM Rebecca Evanhoe, Conversation Designer at Amazon Web Services
8:00 PM Extended Q&A followed by networking



Presentation Summaries:

Talk 1 - Mark Webster, Adobe

In this session, Mark Webster will discuss how we’ve been ignoring the lessons user experience design has to teach us about each time a new form of digital interaction has been introduced, why voice isn’t much different, and what we all should do to overcome the hurdles surrounding voice and design, outlining potential solutions to challenges in the market and what that means for the future of voice.

This session will discuss:

  • Why much of language isn’t natural, but based on system requirements

  • What 1980’s-era Apple has to teach us about voice today

  • A “post-conversational” user experience design approach for Voice

  • What the future holds for voice and digital experiences

Talk 2 - Rebecca Evanhoe, Amazon Web Services

When we design interactions between people and AI systems, people want these interactions to be “conversational.” But what does that mean? What are the characteristics our bots should embody? People often equate “conversational” to using friendly or casual language, or perhaps adding a personalized touch like a customized greeting. While these aren’t bad techniques, they’re not getting at the heart of what makes a bot that feels like you're talking to a person.

In this talk, Rebecca will show that making a bot conversational isn’t what people think sharing an in-depth example of how context — on a sentence level — makes your bot feel most human.


Speaker Bios:

Mark Webster is Director of Product at Adobe, focusing on voice integration for Adobe XD. He is also responsible for driving product strategy for emerging technologies within XD. Mark joined Adobe through the acquisition of the company he founded, Sayspring, which offers a design and prototyping platform for voice interfaces.

Prior to Sayspring, Mark was Director of Product for Groupon, focusing on entertainment and events. He landed at Groupon after SideTour, an e-commerce marketplace for local activities he co-founded, was acquired by Groupon in September 2013. Mark started his career with a five-year stretch at the National Basketball Association, where he worked in Creative Services.

Rebecca Evanhoe is a conversational designer for Amazon Web Services’ Emerging Technologies team, and an author. For the last 8 years as a conversational designer, she has created virtual characters for conversation-based learning games, chatbots for fun and service, and interactive voice experiences.

Sponsors:

This event is made possible with the support of Betaworks Studios.

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Date and Time

Location

Betaworks Studios

29 Little West 12th Street

New York, NY 10014

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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