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Dave is currently the Chief Evangelist for Alexa and Echo at Amazon. He has been a professional speaker, trainer, and evangelist for over a decade. He has taught full-day courses on many topics including voice design, natural language understanding, mobile, and the cloud. Dave has helped launch numerous technology platforms and devices while at both Microsoft and Amazon. He is an author for LinkedIn, hosts the AlexaDevChat podcast, alexadevchat.com, can be found online at thedavedev.com and Twitter as @thedavedev.
Shwen is a recognized pioneer in digital health and social pharma, as well as a well-respected industry thought-leader who was named a Top 40 “Healthcare Transformer” by MM&M in 2015 and a PR Week and MM&M "Health Influencer 50" in 2017 & 2018. He sits on various advisory boards, including: Google (Healthcare), SXSW (Health), MM&M Healthcare Transformers, conversationHEALTH and the Digital Health Coalition.
Shwen brings over a decade of experience leading digital strategy and driving innovation in commercial, communications, and clinical organizations, both on the client-side and at leading creative agencies. He is often featured in industry publications, speaks regularly at industry events and chairs the Digital Innovation Day for the Digital Pharma Series (East, West and EU). In 2017, he spoke on Innovation in Healthcare at the prestigious Cannes Lions Health festival.
Shwen is also very involved in the health tech startup community and organizes startup bootcamps, runs startup pitch contests and plays an active role running healthcare hackathons around the world as part of the MIT Hacking Medicine team.
Noelle LaCharite is an evangelist at heart. She is passionate about Mindful Leadership, work-life harmony and empowering people to achieve their potential through emerging technology. She also specializes in helping brands develop skills for Amazon Alexa. She is the co-founder of a skill development company, Voice Skills Inc. She has spent many years as a trainer, architect, and evangelist for IBM, RedHat, EMC, Amazon and now Microsoft, whee she is now Director of Evangelism for DevCollective. She has taught thousands of people the value and importance of voice technology, Democratizing AI, and mindful leadership and has delivered keynotes, workshops and conferences around the world.
Kourtney Bitterly is Lead for The New York Times’ R&D group. Her role is to understand how emerging technology and consumer behavior will impact the way media is consumed and created, and articulate future-focused strategies in response. Her current area of exploration is how voice-assistant platforms will shape content accessibility and content. Kourtney comes to The Times from Matter, a venture capital firm and startup accelerator focused on investing in media startups. At Matter, Kourtney was Director of Partnerships and led the partner accelerator program. Prior to that, she directed Kickstarter’s effort to reshape the way it partners with creators, headed up strategic partnerships at theSkimm, and led business development at IDEO New York. She began her career working as a researcher for television news. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish Literature from the University of Notre Dame.
David is an entrepreneur at heart. For the last decade, David, with the help of his team, has grown Voices.com from the ground up to become the leader in the voice industry. As Chief Executive Officer, David is responsible for setting the vision, executing the growth strategy, creating a vibrant culture, and managing the company on a day-to-day basis. He is frequently published in outlets such as The Globe & Mail, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal.
Lisa Falkson is currently Senior VUI Designer at Amazon. She is the editor and author of “Ubiquitous Voice: Essays from the Field” and has over 15 years of industry and research experience, specializing in the design, development and deployment of natural speech and multimodal interfaces. Her most recent work includes next-generation voice user interfaces at NIO and CloudCar, as well as Amazon’s first speech-enabled products: Fire TV, Fire Phone and Echo/Alexa. Prior to that, she focused on early iPad/iPhone interfaces at Volio, and speech-enabled IVR applications at Nuance. Lisa holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the Speech and Auditory Perception Laboratory at UCLA.
40 under 40 Healthcare Innovator by the Boston Business Journal and Medtech Boston; Cris is a seasoned entrepreneur/intrapreneur who is driven to improve human health through technology and innovation.
De Luca is currently the Global Head of Digital Innovation for Johnson & Johnson Innovation, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He holds Chief Digital and Data responsibilities for translating Data Science/Hi-Tech external innovation opportunities throughout J&J’s Innovation Centers, JLABS incubators, and JJDC corp ventures across the Pharma, Consumer and Medical Device businesses.
With entrepreneurial DNA, Cris is most notably known for his role in the innovation economy since Co-Founding Ultra Light Startups, the oldest and largest startup-investor pitch accelerator in Boston and New York City with additional chapters in Silicon Valley and London. ULS accelerated 700+ bootstrapping startups with 26% having gone on to raise angel/venture funding, leading to several large-scale acquisitions by companies such as Apple, Trip Advisor and Singapore Telecom.
Cris is a Venture Fellow at FundRx and serves on the advisory boards of SXSW Health, AARP Health Innovation and VOICE Summit. He advises/mentors academic and research institutes, government agencies, corporations, entrepreneurs, and early stage companies.
Adva Levin is an Alexa champion and the founder of Pretzel Labs, an award winning voice-first studio that creates playful experiences for kids and families. Pretzel Labs' work includes Kids Court, an Alexa based judge that settles kids fights (Top 25 Alexa skill of 2018); Freeze Dancers, a dancing game for the most energized children; and Big Talk, a platform that encourages young English learners to enjoy conversational English.
Currently, Adam Cheyer is co-Founder and VP Engineering of Viv Labs, a startup simplifying the world by providing an intelligent interface to everything. Viv Labs was acquired by Samsung in 2016. Previously, Adam Cheyer was co-Founder and VP Engineering at Siri, Inc., a company aimed at fundamentally redesigning the face of the consumer mobile experience. In 2010, Siri was acquired by Apple, where Mr. Cheyer became a Director of Engineering in the iPhone/iOS group. Mr. Cheyer is also a Founding Member and Advisor to Change.org, the premier social network for positive social change, and a co-Founder of Sentient Technologies.
Cathy Pearl is Head of Conversation Design Outreach at Google, and the author of the O'Reilly book, "Designing Voice User Interfaces". She's been designing and creating Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) for nearly 20 years and is passionate about helping everyone make the best conversational experiences possible. Previously, Cathy was VP of User Experience at Sensely, whose virtual nurse avatar helps people stay healthy. She has worked on everything from programming NASA helicopter pilot simulators to designing a conversational iPad app in which Esquire magazine's style columnist tells users what they should wear on a first date. She has an MS in Computer Science from Indiana University and and BS in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego.
Juergen leads the Speech & Digital Assistants team at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America (MBRDNA) in Sunnyvale, CA, which builds software that lets Mercedes-Benz customers talk to their cars – inside of the car, through the built-in #HeyMercedes voice assistant, and outside the car through integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
This team has partnered with SoundHound on evolving the decades-old voice control of Mercedes-Benz cars into a full-fledged digital assistant, that can answer many questions about and also beyond the vehicle. The #HeyMercedes voice assistant premiered with the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) in the A-Class.
Juergen joined MBRDNA in 2018, after previously leading the Platform & APIs Product Management team for smart speaker manufacturer Sonos. After getting his German University Diploma in Math and CS many moons ago, Juergen spent 15 years at Enterprise Software vendor SAP, working on many projects such CRM, in-memory databases, developer ecosystems and cultural transformation. He also did AI when AI wasn’t cool.
Ed Sewell is the CEO and Founder of Velocity AI. He is a thought leader in smart cities, smart buildings and autonomous, connected vehicle infrastructure. Velocity AI is a member of the NVIDIA Inception program for Artificial Intelligence startups. Voice is a natural interface to interact not just with the world around us, but also with physical assets and things, such as connected devices - including lights and autonomous vehicles. Velocity AI helps accelerate growth and innovation in voice technology investments. In addition to Velocity AI, Ed was the founder and architect of Virtual DNA. A global cyber security firm specializing embedded voice biometrics and machine learning.
Rachel Batish is an accomplished entrepreneur and author specializing in the voice and voice search spaces. At Audioburst Batish is responsible for driving product strategy with some of the biggest brands including Samsung, LG and Bytedance. Prior to Audioburst Batish ran her own company as the co-Founder and CRO of Conversation.one, the build-once-deploy-everywhere-platform for conversational apps, which leverages machine learning to maximize the interaction between people and devices. Rachel has published several online articles on voice and chat UX and the importance of AI in building conversational applications. Her book, "Voicebot and Chatbot Design" was published by PACKT Publishing House in July 2018. Rachel has a BA in Political Science and an MA in International Relations.
Polina is a strategist, designer, and thought leader focused on voice-first products, Machine Learning and Product Delivery craftsmanship. She is interested in creating novel products and meaningful experiences that help businesses grow and simultaneously inspire, engage and empower users. As co-founder of Voice Tech TO Polina is dedicated to growing and supporting the community of practitioners, who are interested in voice and helps develop plays and tactics to ensure successful voice-first product delivery
Bret Kinsella is CEO, Founder and Editor of Voicebot.ai, the leading research, news and analysis source for the voice and AI industries. His Voice Insider newsletter has a select audience of industry insiders and often breaks industry news weeks before it becomes public. Bret is a frequent speaker in the U.S. and Europe and also hosts the weekly Voicebot Podcast where he interviews the entrepreneurs, engineers and executives shaping the voice technology landscape. Bret is also a practitioner in voice app development where he has contributed to the strategy and design behind several popular voice apps on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. A past executive at Sapient and Accenture and an officer in several startups, Bret earned degrees from UCLA and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and can be found most weekends running in the mountains.
As NPR’s Vice President for New Platform Partnerships, Joel Sucherman guides strategy and leads the teams that build NPR’s presence on voice assistants and other emerging platforms. Under Sucherman’s leadership, NPR has become a preeminent brand on smart speakers, developing skills and actions on Alexa and Google Assistant platforms used by millions of people each month. Sucherman’s teams were also responsible for NPR One, an IOS and Android app that uses a combination of algorithms and human curation to provide a personalized radio news/podcast experience. Prior to working in public radio, Sucherman was instrumental in the digital transformation of USA TODAY, re-imagining storytelling for the “Nation’s Newspaper” on various platforms.
A high-performance achiever with a proven track record of success, Amy Summers launched Pitch Publicity in 2003, in the face of a rapidly changing climate for communication and media relations. With a focus on journalistic needs for newsworthy stories and extreme deadlines, her approach has always been focused on crafting a newsworthy pitch that complements her clients’ goals and satisfies the media’s need for a compelling story. Credited with strategizing publicity campaigns and securing live interviews for media with her clients at the deepest and only underwater scientific laboratory on the planet (63 feet beneath the sea) to the highest point of the planet during a Mount Everest summit (21,000 feet above sea level), Summers’ publicity campaigns have resulted in billions of media impressions for influential medical doctors, scientists, authors, entrepreneurs, politicians, environmentalists, humanitarians, military veterans, corporations and nonprofit organizations worldwide. Her pitching skills are not limited to media, as Summers has strategized and executed major fundraising campaigns that have generated millions of dollars in revenue for international and national nonprofits, all by carefully crafting a strategic pitch with the right creative elements to move an audience to action. Summers has intentionally grown her business to an ideal pinnacle where she can spend her time personally counseling clients, developing creative story angles for media, and mentoring each member of her publicity team directly to become best in-class public relations professionals. She is known by many professionals to be a power connector and mentor across multiple industries, making things happen quickly for other professionals. Always seeking what's next in communications and technology, Summers currently shares her experience and skills via one of the most highly ranked business, career and communications Flash Briefing for Amazon’s Alexa Skills, “The Pitch with Amy Summers.”
Adrien Schmidt is an internationally renowned engineer, keynote and entrepreneur. In 2004, he co-founded Squid Solutions, a software company based in Paris that provides usage analytics to publishers around the world. As Squid Solutions rapidly turned companies into data-driven enterprises, he went on to open offices for Squid Solutions in Beijing in 2006 and San Francisco in 2014. On a mission to become a market leader in a new generation of analytics tools, he co-founded Bouquet.ai in 2015, creating a product that brings a fulfilling experience of analytics to thousands of users in their daily jobs with the implementation of a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence and natural language processing. He is a frequent contributor and thought-leader for major publications, speaks five languages and based in Silicon Valley.
Sina Kahen hails from the medical devices and voice technology industries. He is currently the Head of Strategy and Design at VAICE, a pro-bono consulting group that help brands discover the benefits of voice and conversational AI, from strategy to experience. He identifies the challenges presented after the recent wave of voice technology adoption, and aims to solve them with principles from design-thinking, biomimicry, and philosophy. He graduated as a Biomedical Scientist, and has an MBA from Imperial College Business School.
Sunayna Tuteja is the Global Head of Strategic Partnerships & Frontier Technologies at TD Ameritrade. With more than ten years of diverse global experience, she has a proven record for building new ventures from scratch and leading change that is critical in shaping the future of business. At TD Ameritrade, Sunayna leads an entrepreneurial "tiger team" with a mission to build the next generation of products, experiences and business models to break down barriers in investing and empower more people for financial success, via the ecosystems they use every day. In this role, Sunayna leads strategy and commercialization for disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Voice and Virtual Reality, with the goal to solve problems, and create meaningful experiences for investors. Over the last 6 months, her team has delivered industry-first partnerships and products with startups and global technology companies including Apple, Amazon, Google and Tencent. A life-long learner, Sunayna is working on her JD at Stanford Law with a focus on the impact and influence of disruptive technologies, and the future of jurisprudence. Partnering with the Stanford Innovation Lab, she works closely with the start-up and VC community helping to advance public and corporate innovation. Sunayna was recently recognized as one of Top 16 Women in Wealth Tech by Think Advisor Magazine. Outside of work and school, you can find Sunayna adventuring the skies in her Cessna. You can stay connected on Twitter @Sunayna.
Vijay Balasubramaniyan is Co-Founder, CEO & CTO of Pindrop. He’s held various engineering and research roles with Google, Siemens, IBM Research and Intel.
Vijay holds patents in VoIP security and scalability and he frequently speaks on phone fraud threats at technical conferences, including RSA, Black Hat, FS-ISAC, CCS and ICDCS. Vijay earned a PhD in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology. His PhD thesis was on telecommunications security.
Robert has been working in the connected car area since 2014 and is a Software Engineer at Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America based in Sunnyvale, CA. He used to be a Scrum Product Owner for web frontend development before focusing on the connection of IoT and mobility use cases. On this quest, he is part of the engineering team who integrates voice assistants with connected car interfaces to enhance vehicle interaction. He is passionate about meaningful speech applications and finding the “everyday” use cases in the mobility sector.
Navya is a Product Manager of Voice Platforms at Gannett – USA TODAY NETWORKS and is instrumental in launching Voice applications for 100+ Gannett’s national and local news properties. Previously, Navya was a Product Manager at Witlingo and has overseen the deployment of several of the enterprise skills, including the Motley Fool, Meetup, Fish & Richardson, and Cooley LLP. Navya holds a Master’s Degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Nekpen Osuan, PMP is a Manager at Deloitte Consulting where she leads the consulting expansion for Analytics and Cognitive Insights. She is also the CEO & Co-Founder of @WomenWerk, a women’s empowerment non-profit reaching 5500 women and girls annually in New York City. Nekpen enjoys building diversity and inclusion in tech and social impact. She was recently named a BlogHer 2018 Voice of the Year, the 2017 Baylor University Young Alumna of the Year, a 2018 92Y Woman in Power Fellow, a 2018 Walkers Legacy Women in Leadership Honoree, and a 2017 Council of Urban Professionals Fellow. Nekpen serves on the DNC’s Young Professionals Committee and Women's Leadership Forum, and is a volunteer on professional boards for The Lower Eastside Girls Club, The New Leaders Council, and the famed Apollo Theatre.
Tom is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Newark Venture Partners (NVP), a $50M venture fund and accelerator based in downtown Newark, NJ. NVP is backed by Amazon, Prudential and a number of other notable investors, entrepreneurs and politicians. In addition to driving financial returns, NVP mission is to attract and grow great tech start-ups in Newark, build the local tech/business ecosystem and drive economic benefits to the city in the form of jobs, residents, taxes and foot traffic. www.Newark.vc
Tom also manages RosePaul Investments, his family office, and its proprietary fund, RosePaul Ventures that invests in tech start-ups and VC/PE funds. RosePaul's tech start-up portfolio is focused on software enabled business. www.rosepaul.com
He is an active early stage investor and adviser to start-ups, venture capital, private equity and growth-stage companies. Tom is member of New York Angels, an early stage investment group. He serves as a board member and adviser to a number of early stage ventures.
Prior to this Tom was a Partner at the management consulting firm Baldwin Bell Green (BBG) where he focused on Financial Services, Technology and Private Equity clients. His practice area was advising senior management in the areas of Strategy, Operations and IT.
Prior to joining Baldwin Bell Green in 2008, Tom worked independently for 7 years as an adviser to private equity/venture capital firms and on two occasions joined the management team of a portfolio company. Prior to 2000, he spent 7 years as a management consultant at Mitchell Madison Group where he was a Partner. Prior to business school, Tom worked at Morgan Stanley in technology development and investment banking.
Tom holds a BA in Physics and Philosophy from Clark University and an MBA from Dartmouth. He lives in NYC with his wife and two children.
Jess is CEO & Cofounder of Opearlo, a YC backed startup producing some of the most popular voice apps on Amazon Alexa, inc. Find My Phone, Guess My Name, and the kid favourite Panda Rescue. An Amazon Alexa Champion and nominee for the Alexa Award "Executive of the Year," Jess is an active member of the voice community who regularly speaks at conferences/meet-ups about her direct experience working in voice, covering topics such as lessons learnt and voice design.
Jess is a regular speaker at conferences, covering voice topics such as lessons learned, voice design, and monetisation on Alexa. She is also a voice design tutor and mentor for CareerFoundry’s Voice Design course.
Dr. Nicol Turner Lee (she, her) is a fellow in the program’s Center for Technology Innovation and a contributor to TechTank. She comes to Brookings from the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), a national non-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications, and broadband industries, where she served as vice president and chief research and policy officer. At the Center for Technology Innovation, Dr. Turner Lee researches public policy designed to enable equitable access to technology across the U.S. and to harness its power to create change in communities across the world. Dr. Turner-Lee’s research also explores global and domestic broadband deployment, regulatory, and internet governance issues. She is also an expert on the intersection of race, wealth, and technology within the context of civic engagement, criminal justice, and economic development. Dr. Turner Lee graduated from Colgate University magna cum laude and has a M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University.
Paul works with builders to design and develop the next generation of customer experience - a voice based ambient computing user experience. Prior to Amazon, he was VP of Technology at Disney Interactive. Paul regularly speaks to creators around the world and is a toxophilite at heart. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Twitch @PaulCutsinger.
I’ll admit it: I love talking with robots and teaching them to talk back. It’s been that way since I was a kid chatting to my toys with sadly no response. Since then, and for 20 years I’ve taught robots all over the World to carry on natural conversations for the Fortune 500 and their customers. Now at Google, I help internal groups and external partners develop and maintain best practices of conversation design for the Google Assistant.
James is the CEO and Co-Founder of Vixen Labs, a Voice first consultancy and Founder of the UK’s leading Voice & AI community Voice2.James is an innovation and Marketing consultant with over 10 years experience specialising in Voice, Conversational AI Technologies and emerging platforms such as Immersive AR/VR, 5G and Blockchain. Previously as Head of The LEGO Group’s Emerging Platforms & Partnerships team as part of the Digital Consumer Engagement division, James Poulter is pursuing new technologies, platforms and partners to build digital consumer engagement with LEGO customers, shoppers and consumers on a global basis.James previously was the Head of Social Media for LEGO’s social network for Kids, LEGO Life – which launched globally in 2017 and has since grown to over 2m active users regularly posting their content to the world’s first global and safe social network for kids. As well as devising and developing social features such as LEGO Life’s emoji keyboard, custom characters and moderation systems, James oversaw the launch of LEGO’s global partnership with GIPHY leading the LEGO channel to accrue over 1 Billion GIF views in it’s first year.Prior to joining LEGO, James worked for a number of the world’s leading marketing, advertising and public relations firms including Edelman and Ogilvy leading digital marketing, mobile and social campaigns both in EMEA and globally as well as new business efforts for clients such as Diageo, Unilever, Bose, PayPal, HP and Adobe.Outside of work James is an advisor to the Church of England’s digital board as well as well as a number of other charities, entrepreneurs and startups.James is also the host of the show “Signal” for Christians In Media which explores on a monthly basis the intersection between faith, media and technology. James is a father to Hazel and Willow and husband to Holly and lives in Greenwich in South-East London. He can be found on all good social media as @jamespoulter
Arte Merritt is the co-founder and CEO of Dashbot – a chatbot analytics platform. Previously, he founded the mobile analytics platform, Motally, which he led to a successful exit via sale to Nokia. Arte has 18 years experience in the mobile space and nearly 20 in the analytics space, working with companies like Yahoo Mobile, Turner Broadcasting, and a wide variety of startups. In addition, he helped launch two accelerator programs, Turner’s Media Camp and Mobile Monday’s Momentum, and is a mentor in Orange Fab. Arte is an MIT alum.
Shane Mac is the Chief Automation Officer at Conversocial, where he is responsible for leading adaptive automation innovation for automated consumer messaging experiences. Previously, Shane was the co-founder and CEO of Assist, the leading enterprise chatbot platform for messaging and voice, which was acquired by Conversocial early 2019. In that role, he developed technology that powered some of the world’s largest brands like 1-800-Flowers.com, Sephora, T-Mobile, Hyatt, Fandango, and the NBA; and launched the first-ever commerce experiences on Facebook Messenger and Google Assistant.
Bill Rogers has a unique combination of deep, hands-on technology expertise and broad-based business strategy acumen that allows him to take a unique, holistic approach to creating and managing software companies. At Orbita, he’s created the healthcare industry’s leading conversational platform to design, build, manage, and optimize HIPAA-compliant chatbot- and voice-powered virtual assistants Entities like Amgen, Mayo Clinic, and Deloitte use Orbita’s solutions and services to support digital engagement strategies that increase operational efficiencies while also improving consumer, patient, and member experiences. Rogers previously founded Ektron, a provider of Web content and digital management platforms used to create and manage unique, personalized digital experiences. The company was acquired in 2014 and merged with Episerver which recent sold for $1.1B. Rogers also co-founded one of healthcare’s first telemedicine companies.
Learn from the best and brightest in the Voice-first industry as executives, marketers, developers, and content creators candidly share their proven methods for success, lessons learned, and predictions for where the industry is headed.
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"Big events are usually impersonal but VOICE is very family-like. It's so unique to be with people from all over the world interested in Voice. It's magic."
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"It's really exciting for me as a voice designer because we get to learn about tools that we can use to build more intentional, creative, and engaging experiences for our users."
-Deymi Campos, Voice Designer
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