April 9-11, 2018 | Renaissance Washington DC Hotel

Registration

Monday, April 9, 2018

Welcome & Opening Keynotes

Opening Keynote: Designing Customer Experiences that Matter to a New Generation of Accidental Narcissists

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter, a Prophet company

Every day, there are more and more advanced back-office and customer-facing technologies at the ready for businesses to modernize CX and CRM. The challenge that many decision-makers face isn’t just wading through the mind-numbing array of advanced technologies to deploy but whether or not they can see the extent to which their customers have moved away from current value-propositions and touch points. Brian Solis is a leading digital analyst, anthropologist and futurist. He has studied how customer behaviors, preferences, values and intent have evolved and how organizations are and aren’t keeping up. In his keynote presentation, Brian will share the world of experience through the eyes of the evolving customer and it how companies need to reverse engineer new perspectives, models, and journeys to stay relevant.

Keynote: Could Millennials Be Your Contact Center’s Secret Weapon?

10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
sponsored by
Allyson Boudousquie, VP Market & Product Strategy, Convergys

You already realize the importance of Millennials as consumers, but have you considered the impact they could make within your company? Contact centers are changing, with a new focus on handling complex and difficult interactions and “postchannel” strategies that erase your customers’ awareness of channels. Digitally fluent and social media-connected Millennials can be the ideal fit for chat, social, and mobile agent support. Learn how you can leverage this key demographic, along with innovative technologies, to enable the best possible customer outcomes.

Coffee Break

10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Track A - Managers

The MANAGERS track discusses issues that managers face. Intelligent assistants are changing how users interact with businesses. Learn if your business needs them, how to build them, how to evaluate them, and how to deploy them. In this track you will also learn what is necessary to make your voice application work in a global environment. Presenters will also evaluate various approaches for using biometrics for fraud protection, an important topic given today’s concerns about hacking.

A101 - Intro to Intelligent Assistants

10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Michael McTear, Professor, Ulster University

Intelligent assistants are part of our daily lives, thanks to recent advances in artificial intelligence and spoken language technology. How can we make these assistants interact successfully with us? View a short demo of how to build a simple interaction. Learn about the basic concepts—skills, intents, and entities. Consider the importance of extensive training and testing and what we can learn from the experiences of a generation of voice user interface designers.

A102 - Being Smart About Developing Intelligent Assistants

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dr. William Meisel, President, TMA Associates Editor, LUI News

Digital assistants using natural language are a major trend, but one that presents significant challenges for companies that want to adopt the technology. There are call centers, text chatbots, mobile apps using speech or text, home speakers and automobiles with only a voice option, and more. Where should one start? What are options to develop natural language technology that doesn’t frustrate the user? This talk presents a strategy that can reduce the challenge and result in truly smart digital assistants.

Keynote Lunch: From Onboarding to ‘Onbotting’: How Different Is a Bot From an Employee?

12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
sponsored by
Tobias Goebel, Senior Director Emerging Technologies, Product Management and Marketing, Aspect Software, Inc.

ELIZA, one of the first chatbots ever built, was introduced more than 50 years ago, but it was not until Siri in 2011, Alexa in 2015, and Facebook’s Bots launch in 2016 that we saw anything close to mass market adoption of conversational assistants. Most technologies that start in the consumer world eventually reach the commercial enterprise, but should chatbots be treated as traditional projects? Chatbots are ushering in a new era of man-machine interaction—one that goes far beyond the now familiar “information retrieval” applications that rely on simple question-answer system constructs. As machines are starting to learn how to speak and to perform traditionally human functions, should we treat them more like humans? This is a new IT frontier. Is the goal to improve the human condition? These and other similar questions must be asked, but here is the big question: How do enterprises get this right?

A103 - Product Managing the Launch of an Alexa Skill

2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Navya Nayaki Yelloji, Product Manager, Witlingo, Inc.

What does it take to launch a far field voice experience such as an Amazon Alexa skill? Yelloji walks through the various steps that take the product manager from engaging with field and market researchers, from identifying the initial functional requirements for the skill to engaging with UX designers, developers, voice experiences testers, beta testers, and then marketers through the launch and the post launch of the skill. She provides specific examples and shares learnings from real client deployments of conversational experiences.

A104 - New Approaches for Designing Chatbots

3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Dr. Andreas Volmer, Director, Product Management, Aspect Software

Machine learning techniques based on sample phrases has shortcomings: large sets of data samples and limited ability to control the tuning process. An alternative approach consists of a more rules-based approach that relies on deep understanding of the syntax and semantics of users’ messages. We compare these approaches and show how a linguistics-driven approach can be both easy to manage and result in better accuracy and control.

Solution Sessions

4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

See presentations about some of the latest technological developments in speech technology from companies at the conference. Solution Sessions are open to all full conference attendees and Networking Pass holders. Check back later for session details or follow #SpeechTEK on Twitter for updates.

The Tools Behind the Magic; Democratizing NLU in the Enterprise

Nikos Kolivas, Senior Natural Language Engineer, Omilia

Omilia's own Nikos Kolivas will provide a 45-minute crash-course in developing omni-channel conversational applications using the Omilia "Conversation Studio." Attendees will gain insight into how easy it is to manage a Conversational Application, create intents, extract meaning, keep up with complex business rules, and create natural dialog flows, all from within the same web tool.

Track B - Developers

The DEVELOPERS track discusses the problems with using voice in the internet of things, including the use of far field-field microphones, controlling devices with voice commands, using voice for home assistants, and home automation. Learn about toolkits for developing advanced natural language understanding.

B101 - Advanced Natural Language Understanding With Today’s Toolkits

10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Dr. Deborah Dahl, Principal, Conversational Technologies

Natural language toolkits provide effective capabilities for understanding basic types of utterances—those whose meaning can be described as a set of intents and entities. However, many commonplace natural language requests can’t easily be represented as intents and entities. These more advanced requests include negation, scheduling, and hypotheticals. Learn how to use tools that support the intent/entity approach to handle more advanced utterances.

B102 - Beyond Ambient Voice

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Leor Grebler, Co-founder & CEO, Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation

Far-field devices that support conversational voices are providing information and commerce to the home. With hundreds of electronic devices on the market, where are the next opportunities for companies to add voice interaction to their products? What are the different information sources that can be used to enhance the interaction and the intelligence of assistants? What will interaction with our homes and environments look like in 3 years? How can today’s developers start planning for this?

Keynote Lunch: From Onboarding to ‘Onbotting’: How Different Is a Bot From an Employee?

12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
sponsored by
Tobias Goebel, Senior Director Emerging Technologies, Product Management and Marketing, Aspect Software, Inc.

ELIZA, one of the first chatbots ever built, was introduced more than 50 years ago, but it was not until Siri in 2011, Alexa in 2015, and Facebook’s Bots launch in 2016 that we saw anything close to mass market adoption of conversational assistants. Most technologies that start in the consumer world eventually reach the commercial enterprise, but should chatbots be treated as traditional projects? Chatbots are ushering in a new era of man-machine interaction—one that goes far beyond the now familiar “information retrieval” applications that rely on simple question-answer system constructs. As machines are starting to learn how to speak and to perform traditionally human functions, should we treat them more like humans? This is a new IT frontier. Is the goal to improve the human condition? These and other similar questions must be asked, but here is the big question: How do enterprises get this right?

B103 - Natural Language Voice Controls for IoT Products

2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Michael Liguori, CEO, Vognition, Inc.

We address these critical questions for user control of Internet of Things (IoT) products: Why consider natural language voice user interfaces for IoT products? Are voice assistants appropriate for IoT products? How do you identify and gather appropriate contextual information required for a useful user experience. How is contextual information integrated into the user interface? What are the high-level components of the voice control technology stack? How can multiple voice assistants and portals interact with your IoT product?

B104 - Power Users of Voice—Voice in the Home

3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Crispin Reedy, Director, User Experience, Versay Solutions

This presentation takes a look at the people who are experimenting with the cutting edge of voice technology, assistants, and home automation. This includes people who have more than one home assistant, people who regularly install skills or try many different things with their devices, and people who have extensive home automation setups. Who are they? What is their experience so far with voice technology? What are they doing that is interesting and unusual with their devices? What would they like to change? Come find out!

Track C - User Experience Designers

The USER EXPERIENCE DESIGNERS track discusses techniques for developing and evaluating VUI designs.  Compare approaches for modeling conversations for chatbots. Discover how to detect and take advantage of user emotion. 

C101 - Advanced User Interfaces for Smart Assistants

10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
David Attwater, Senior Scientist, Enterprise Integration Group

To what extent are traditional voice user interface design practices still applicable? How “natural” should the UI be and how can we support stable sustained interactions for novices and experts alike? How can we leverage contextual information such as device information and location, user profile, and interaction history? How can we integrate visual input and output? Target audience: experienced UI designers and user experience designers.

Solution Session

4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

See presentations about some of the latest technological developments in speech technology from companies at the conference. Solution Sessions are open to all full conference attendees and Networking Pass holders. Check back later for session details or follow #SpeechTEK on Twitter for updates.

Designing Conversational Interfaces to Optimize CX

Erik Lamb, Sr. Product Manager, Digital, Interactions

Conversational virtual assistants are changing how we interact with brands and find information, giving consumers an opportunity to connect when and how they want. However, developing an intelligent virtual assistant requires more than the ability to carry out tasks and interact in a natural way; enterprises must consider individualized details to deliver a differentiated customer experience. In this session, join Interactions to learn how to deploy an IVA that not only engages and services, but also uses contextual details about the user, the enterprise, the product, and the task to achieve optimal automation.

C102 - Beyond WER: How to Evaluate Speech Technologies

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dr. Arlo Faria, CEO, Remeeting UC Berkeley, ICSI

Speech technology vendors often claim that their systems perform significantly better than competitors. How can a prospective buyer verify such claims? For most, the answer is to run a benchmark or bake-off. Word Error Rate (WER) scoring can be very misleading. We introduce some lesser known alternatives. We also describe metrics for scoring speaker identification / diarization and keyword search. We illustrate with real-world examples comparing both commercial vendors and research systems.

Keynote Lunch: From Onboarding to ‘Onbotting’: How Different Is a Bot From an Employee?

12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
sponsored by
Tobias Goebel, Senior Director Emerging Technologies, Product Management and Marketing, Aspect Software, Inc.

ELIZA, one of the first chatbots ever built, was introduced more than 50 years ago, but it was not until Siri in 2011, Alexa in 2015, and Facebook’s Bots launch in 2016 that we saw anything close to mass market adoption of conversational assistants. Most technologies that start in the consumer world eventually reach the commercial enterprise, but should chatbots be treated as traditional projects? Chatbots are ushering in a new era of man-machine interaction—one that goes far beyond the now familiar “information retrieval” applications that rely on simple question-answer system constructs. As machines are starting to learn how to speak and to perform traditionally human functions, should we treat them more like humans? This is a new IT frontier. Is the goal to improve the human condition? These and other similar questions must be asked, but here is the big question: How do enterprises get this right?

C103 - Is the Net Promoter Score Dead?

2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
James Isaacs, President, Cyara

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the go-to measurement tool for many businesses, but the NPS has many limitations. Operational Customer Experience (OCX) measurement can be used as an alternative. By automating the measurement of customer experience (CX) across channels, businesses can avoid having to involve customers in the feedback process while still receiving objective, accurate, real-time insights into their CX at an operational level.

C104 - Methodology for IVR Competitive Analysis

3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Jamey White, Human Factors Consultant, Customer Information Technology (CIT), Convergys AVIxD

Emerging channels of customer interaction continue to influence and reshape the IVR landscape. Callers have different expectations and reasons for using the IVR channel today than they did a decade ago. Optimizing your IVR for these trends is critical to staying ahead of competition. Competitive analysis offers insight into how well your IVR compares. This session presents a simple methodology for assessing and scoring IVRs as a basis for comparison.

Track D - Technologists

The TECHNOLOGISTS track discusses the use of deep neural networks and how they have changed the ASR universe. Learn about currently available speech and NL APIs. Learn about new techniques for enhancing phone calls with visuals, multiple channels, and hybrid apps.

D101 - PANEL: Voice 2.0: Unified Conversational Experiences Across Everything

10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Moderator: Dan Miller, Lead Analyst-Founder, Opus Research, Inc.
Daniel Hong, Research Director & VP, Forrester Research
David Isbitski, Chief Evangelist, Alexa and Echo, Amazon
Jay Wilpon, SVP, Natural Language Research, Interactions, LLC
Patrick Nguyen, Chief Technology Officer, [24]7.ai
Peter Hesse, EVP & Chief Security Officer, 10Pearls

“You go faster alone … but farther together.” Hear from the collective wisdom of consumer-based conversational technology heavyweights who talk about the present and future of conversational experiences in the age of IoT. Learn about how you provide consistent conversational experiences across different channels and devices, the role of the API economy for developing and improving conversational experiences, and how to prepare for the impact of AI and IoT as you build a new voice strategy.

D102 - How Deep Learning Has Changed Everything in the ASR Universe

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Brian Garr, Chief Revenue Officer, GoVivace Speech Technologies

What happened to SLMs and grammars? What about trigrams and bigrams? Neural nets and deep learning have changed everything about speech recognition. Are we entering a new era of tiny word error rates and higher quality speech recognition. Have we surpassed 70% accuracy for news radio transcription? We discuss how deep learning and neural nets are changing speech recognition, taking it from a nascent technology to mainstream.

Keynote Lunch: From Onboarding to ‘Onbotting’: How Different Is a Bot From an Employee?

12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
sponsored by
Tobias Goebel, Senior Director Emerging Technologies, Product Management and Marketing, Aspect Software, Inc.

ELIZA, one of the first chatbots ever built, was introduced more than 50 years ago, but it was not until Siri in 2011, Alexa in 2015, and Facebook’s Bots launch in 2016 that we saw anything close to mass market adoption of conversational assistants. Most technologies that start in the consumer world eventually reach the commercial enterprise, but should chatbots be treated as traditional projects? Chatbots are ushering in a new era of man-machine interaction—one that goes far beyond the now familiar “information retrieval” applications that rely on simple question-answer system constructs. As machines are starting to learn how to speak and to perform traditionally human functions, should we treat them more like humans? This is a new IT frontier. Is the goal to improve the human condition? These and other similar questions must be asked, but here is the big question: How do enterprises get this right?

D103 - Bringing Conversational Technology to Call Centers & IVRs

2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Dan Aharon, Product Manager, Google
Anthony Minessale, CEO, SignalWire

Google and Dialogflow (formerly known as API.AI) have been pioneers in conversational technology, powering more chatbots and conversational interfaces than any other company. Many customers have used Dialogflow to build sophisticated voice-based experiences on Google Home and other platforms and are now looking to connect those experiences to phone lines to replace traditional IVR systems. SignalWire offers a Cloud telephony service powered by FreeSWITCH, an open source platform used by over 5000 commercial enterprises and serving businesses worldwide with 300M+ end users per day. We will show how any user can create a conversational agent in Dialogflow in a few minutes, and then turn it into a standalone IVR system in minutes with SignalWire.

D104 - True Stories from Tuning Data

3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Jenny Burr, Sr. Manager, Analytic Consulting, Convergys

How can you learn more about your callers and improve your application at the same time? Many times tuning is seen as a part of the application life cycle that can be optional, but the tuning data can reveal how callers react to the application either positively or negatively and provide solid data on which to base improvements. This session will discuss real-world results that show common pitfalls as well as performance improvements that can be gained as a result of tuning.

Reception

Grand Opening Reception in the Customer Solutions Expo

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Join your peers as we celebrate the grand opening of the Customer Solutions Expo. Visit with conference sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and other attendees while enjoying light hors d’oeuvres and drinks.

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