SpeechTEK 2019 - Track B: Voice Interface Experience Designers

Track B, targeted to voice interface experience designers, contains many customer case studies illustrating new and innovative applications using speech technologies, including speech in the home and in the car. Learn new insights for using speech technologies and how they could be used in your enterprise. Track B also contains discussions about the latest best practices and techniques for voice user experience design.


Monday, Apr 29

Track B: Voice Interface Experience Designers


B101. Challenges of Implementing Voice Control for Space Applications

10:30 AM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

This presentation provides the audience with an overview of the challenges for implementation of voice control in space applications that include the hardware, software, environment, and, more importantly, the astronaut. Past voice control applications in space are given. Learn how to apply key learnings from these applications to applications here on Earth.


, Human-Computer Technical Discipline Lead, Avionics Systems, NASA/Johnson Space Center


B102. Augmenting United Way’s Help Center

11:30 AM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Come hear how United Way implemented a visual IVR with Amazon Connect to augment its existing call center. The goal is to help those in need 24/7, so that more people quickly find assistance. The visual IVR provides smartphone callers with emergency shelter locations in an easy-to-understand visual format. The visual IVR shortens calls, improves call containment through visual self-service, decreases switching to live staff, and reduces follow-up calls.


, 2-1-1 Manager, Mile High United Way


Keynote Lunch - The future is conversational, omnichannel, and in the cloud

12:15 PM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Today, IVRs are treated as a containment strategy to avoid calls reaching contact center agents. They focus on operational efficiency instead of customer experience. No wonder most users hate IVRs — 60% of them try to bypass them as soon as possible! The irony is that focusing on a great customer experience is a more effective approach for operational efficiency and cost savings, while also delivering high customer satisfaction scores.

We believe the future of customer engagement is conversational because conversations are at the heart of great customer experiences. Customers will interact with systems by speaking or texting naturally rather than pressing keys on their phones or reciting pre-determined commands. Conversational interfaces will allow businesses to route and handle hundreds of customer issues that wouldn't normally fit in a touch-tone IVR menu or even a mobile app. Customers won’t need to learn how to use conversational interfaces because they can just interact with them naturally.

In this talk we will demonstrate how to build a conversational assistant, train it and deploy it to our IVR and web chatbot. We will address the biggest challenges such as handling speech recognition inaccuracies, error handling, omnichannel deployments, and conversation state tracking. We will cover the conversational UX best practices as well as how to give your intelligent assistant a unique voice and tone. After this talk you will be equipped to launch your IVR, chatbot, and Alexa skill with Twilio Autopilot.


, Director of Product and Engineering, Twilio AI


B103. ‘Hera,’ the Avatar for Pregnant Women

01:15 PM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

See video clips of this fascinating avatar as a virtual personal assistant for pregnant women. Learn how focus groups revealed what women really want from this application and the importance of the user-avatar relationship to the success of the project. Learn the strategy behind its design, including technical and user interface considerations. Discover which features, including trust, reliability, and visuality, are most important to real users.


, Head of Multidisiplinary studies, HIT Holon Institute of Technology. Israel


B104. Using Speech Technology to Understand Brain Injuries

02:15 PM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Over the last few years, brain injuries have moved to the forefront of health issues and concerns, particularly highlighted by challenges in professional sports. With greater attention to the issue, the ability to diagnose injuries is evolving. Now, there is an opportunity to leverage speech technology to more immediately identify injuries. Working with MindSquare, AppTek is assisting in the diagnosis of concussions (or mild traumatic brain injuries) using a mobile device.


, CEO, MindSquare


B105. Working Voice Into the Newsroom Workflow

03:15 PM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Newsrooms have complex workflows to produce content at highest journalistic standards—Gannett does this efficiently and at massive scale across its 100-plus news properties. Newsroom workflows changed from print, to web, to mobile device, and now to social. The voice revolution calls for another metamorphosis to the newsroom’s workflow. Learn how Goff transformed the newsroom workflow for voice with lessons learned from the web, mobile, and social revolutions.


, Technical Product Director, Gannett


B106. Expert Perspectives: Best practices for designing a voice bot

04:15 PM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Bots have been around for a few years now, but most aren’t considered great user experiences. In this session, you'll learn about the right elements for building a bot that provides them using Dialogflow and Cloud Speech technologies. We will show you how to build a simple bot, as well as describe advanced techniques you can use to increase your completion rate.


, Technical Solutions Consultant, Google Cloud


Tuesday, Apr 30

Track B: Voice Interface Experience Designers


B201. Discoverability in Spoken User Interfaces

10:45 AM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Non-trivial user interfaces—those that require multiple turns to accomplish complex tasks—benefit when user and machine adapt to each other. Champions of voice claim that speech uniquely exhibits this plasticity. But it doesn’t unless the interface is designed to be discoverable. Discoverability requires systemic characteristics including trust, user-initiated backup moves, rewards for experimentation, and internal transparency. This session discusses specific design techniques that allow and encourage user exploration with low risk and a likely early payoff.


, Chief Scientist Emeritus, Enterprise Integration Group


B202. Return of the User! Usability Principles for Designing Skills That Stick.

11:45 AM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Consider the analogy of “bad first dates” and “failed engagements” to highlight with examples the common pitfalls designers must avoid to design voice experiences that people enjoy and, most importantly, come back to. We discuss why so many voice interactions don’t go beyond the “first date.” Using the intimate dating experience as a metaphor, Javalagi explores how the subtle conventions of human-human interactions help us outline some key, guiding principles for designing delightful and meaningful voice interactions.


, Lead, UX Research and Design, Witlingo


Keynote Lunch - The Intelligent Contact Center

12:30 PM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

AI can now help improve contact centers in ways that up until just a few years ago where not possible. Google Cloud AI enables anyone to tap into AI built on Google tech that up until recently has been exclusive to Google employees. This includes our pre-trained ready-to-use models, including speech recognition that is now twice as accurate for phone calls, WaveNet-based neural network speech synthesis, conversational NLU, and conversational analytics. Together with partners, Google is now bringing this technology to contact centers via Contact Center AI solutions. Companies with contact centers of all sizes can now automate conversational experiences, and improve performance of human agents.


, Product Manager, Google Cloud Al


B203. Writing for Listenability

01:45 PM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 1:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Spoken English is not the same as written English. This session reviews some of the academic research on the differences between spoken and written English and discusses how research results might be applied when writing material that is intended to be spoken aloud for a voice-enabled interface. Also, do these principles apply to casual text conversations such as chatbots? How might these principles be factored into a “listenability index”?


, Director, User Experience, Versay Solutions


B204. Voice-Enable All Things, Cloud-Free!

02:45 PM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Learn how to create a cloud-free voice UI for your next project, including low-power sound detection, wake word recognition, small vocabulary speech recognition, natural language understanding, and biometric authenticators. Learn about the various building blocks that go into engineering a voice-enabled device, such as sourcing the right integrated circuit and voice input system hardware, accessing SDKs, building command sets, training voice models, and more. See a live demonstration of an on-device personal assistant that functions totally free of an internet connection.


, VP of Business Development, Sensory, Inc.


B205. Speech Recognition in Challenging Conditions

04:15 PM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

What do we do when users must shout above the din in a noisy factory or vehicle, when we have to deal with accents different from our own, or when we are trying to recognize casual speech between humans? In these circumstances, most speech recognizers will break down and give poor results. We discuss strategies for mitigating the problems for such challenging conditions.


, CEO & Founder, Cobalt Speech & Language


Wednesday, May 1

Track B: Voice Interface Experience Designers


B301. Conversational Interfaces in the Car

10:45 AM2019-05-012019-05-01

Wednesday, May 1: 10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

The conventional push-to-talk speech experience is being completely redesigned in an effort to achieve a conversational interface. With autonomous vehicles on the horizon, intelligent assistants can become multimodal and effectively leverage video as a presentation modality. Learn about the current intelligent assistants for the car, what to expect with vehicle integration, and how things will change with autonomous vehicles. Finally, we discuss the optimum speech experience for the driver and what’s required to achieve this optimum experience.


, Vice President of Voice Technology, Sirius XM


B302. From Screens to Scenes: Voice Control in the Digital Home

11:45 AM2019-05-012019-05-01

Wednesday, May 1: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

The X1 voice remote has revolutionized the TV viewing experience. Leveraging AI to transcribe and understand what users are saying, Xfinity uses direct voice controls to connect users to the content in which they are most interested. The digital home voice experience will take on concierge-like capabilities, launching features like Phone Finder, Find My Tile, and act like a search engine to connect users with more information about available services.


, Director, Digital Home Product Management, Comcast

Don't Miss These Special Events