Building Conversational, Customer-Driven Applications

Automating the understanding of human text and speech revolutionizes connections with your customers and employees. Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology—interpreting speech or text— combined with Artificial intelligence algorithms is one of the most dynamic and rapidly developing areas of technology today. One key trend, for example, is “digital assistants” that converse with customers or employees to ease use of digital systems and services. A conversational platform using NLP allows a close intuitive connection with users, minimizing frustration and allowing efficient automation of many tasks. NLP technology also allows effective analysis of unstructured text or speech data.

Thursday, October 24

Harborview 1 

7:45 am
Registration Opens

8:00 Continental Breakfast (Harborview Foyer)

9:00 – 12:25 pm Keynote Session (Harborview)

12:25 pm Networking, Coffee & Dessert in the Expo (Commonwealth Hall)

1:30 pm Opening Remarks

Meisel_BillWilliam Meisel, PhD, President, TMA Associates

1:35 Rethinking Customer Voice in a Digital World

Ian Firth, Vice President, Products, Speechmatics

For years, investments in the voice channel have taken a backseat to digital. But thanks to the rise of AI-driven conversational experiences in the consumer realm, organizations must rethink the role of voice. Today, consumers want to engage through channels and devices beyond the phone. With loyalty and revenue at stake, Ian will explain why now is the time to reevaluate the role of voice as part of your organization’s omnichannel customer engagement strategy.


2:00 Automating Conversations with Customers: Efficiency and Effectiveness

Meisel_BillWilliam Meisel, PhD, President, TMA Associates

Today’s “natural language processing” allows interacting with customers by human language—text or speech—by multiple channels. Customers prefer self-service when it works, and today’s NLP works. Tools and services supporting the technology make it relatively easy to develop and deliver, including reducing costs while improving service. This talk provides many examples of what companies are deploying and tools supporting those deployments.

2:20 How Conversations Will Help You Build a Better Customer Experience

Beaver_IanIan Beaver, PhD, Chief Scientist Intelligent Self Service, Verint

Trade-offs between build or buy for natural language self-service solutions, such as Intelligent Virtual Assistants, are highlighted. Once in place, motivations and techniques for deep conversational analysis are covered, as well as several real-world examples. The discoveries possible through these solutions have enabled companies to change their websites or customer service models to conform to what their users were really seeking, increasing customer satisfaction and retention.

2:40 Adding Creativity and Body Language to the Conversational Interface

Walsh_MarkMark Walsh, Founder and CEO,

Winning conversations rely on empathy, personality, and body language -- everything AI lacks. What good is artificial intelligence without emotional intelligence? A revolution is coming, adding a face to the interface and raising the bar for digital conversation. Learn essential creative skills needed to transform your artificial intelligence into someone the world wants to talk to.

3:00 Eno’s Deep Learning–Powered Natural Language Understanding

Mueller_ErikErik Mueller, PhD, Senior Director, Conversational AI, Capital One 

Erik will discuss the natural language understanding capabilities that power Eno, Capital One's customer-facing intelligent assistant. Wherever you are, Eno keeps an eye on your accounts 24/7, sends alerts when something's up, and is always ready to answer your natural language questions. 

3:20 Networking Break in the Expo (Commonwealth Hall)

4:05 Armchair Interview: SRI Case Studies in Conversational Applications

SRI International will discuss its research into the use of voice, NLP, and conversational interfaces to create new enterprise applications. Use cases span analyzing company documentation, customer conversation history, and emotional AI-powered cars. 

Malholtra Hora_ReenitaModerator: Reenita Malhotra Hora, Director of Marketing & Communications, SRI International

Amir TamrakarPanelist: Amir Tamrakar, Sr. Technical Manager, SRI International

5:05 Networking Reception in the Expo (Commonwealth Hall)

6:30 Meetup Groups (Cityview)

7:30 Close of Day 2