VOICE features top industry companies and innovators from across the voice ecosystem. We are grateful to have these powerful thought leaders joining us for VOICE 2021.
More to be announced.
Director of Product Management, Google Assistant
Rebecca works as Director of Product Management at Google. She leads the Developer Platform for Google Assistant, working to ensure that the developer experience for Assistant is intuitive, fast, and fun. Prior to Google, Rebecca led compliance and Admin product management at Box. Rebecca has also led product at Jobvite, where her team delivered deeply-researched, smartly-designed products and features for Jobvite's Engage, Hire, and Onboard products. Prior to Jobvite, Rebecca worked at NetSuite, leading first Commerce then Infrastructure product management. She also has extensive experience in driving commercial and technology innovation through product management in consumer e-commerce and retail companies, including Shutterfly, eBay, Apple, and BizRate. Rebecca received her MBA from Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, and her BA in International Relations from Stanford University.
Principal Technical Evangelist, Amazon Alexa
Jeff Blankenburg spent the early part of his career in digital advertising, building websites for Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Ford Motor Company, among others. He also spent 8 years at Microsoft, primarily as an evangelist for any new technology he could get his hands on. Today, he works on the Amazon Alexa team helping developers make Alexa even smarter. Jeff has also spoken at conferences all over the world, including London, Munich, Sydney, Tokyo, and New York, covering topics ranging from software development technologies to soft skill techniques. He also serves as an organizer for the Stir Trek conference.
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.
Head of NLG and NLU, Capital One Bank
Diana Mingels is an Artificial Intelligence leader focusing mainly on Conversational AI technology and strategy. Currently she is head of the NLG and NLU departments at Capital One Bank, spearheading the ML and AI efforts for Eno, Capital One’s Intelligent Assistant.
Diana has been involved in AI research and development for more than 14 years, throughout which she contributed extensively to various intelligent assistants that are leading the market today.
Diana holds a M.A. in Natural Language Processing and Human Language Technology from the University of Wolverhampton and Autonomous University of Barcelona, as well as a M.S. in Mathematical Linguistics from St. Petersburg State University.
Richard Stern was appointed to Chief Executive Officer, TuneIn, in November 2020. Formerly, he held the position of Chief Product Officer for Audible. Stern is an experienced digital consumer product executive with more than 25 years of industry experience. Previously, Stern led Audible’s global product and design organizations as the company grew to become the leading subscription spoken word audio company. Before joining Audible, Stern served as Head of Global Media Products for Sony PlayStation, where he was responsible for PlayStation Originals, PlayStation Video, and PlayStation Music. Prior, he was Head of Product Management for Amazon Studios, the company’s award-winning original TV and film development arm. Stern is also a founder in Four Daughters Entertainment, a mission-driven film and television production company devoted to inclusion and diversity in the media industry.
Senior Conversation Designer, Google
Karen Kaushansky is a Senior Conversation Designer at Google and started designing voice interfaces in 1996. She has spent 25 years designing experiences that are shaping our interactions with the world. Karen's work spans designing conversational interfaces, enterprise chatbots, smart clothing, natural interactions in mixed reality, and experiences for passengers and pedestrians with autonomous vehicles. She worked for Nuance, Tellme/Microsoft, Jawbone and Zoox and has consulted for companies pushing technology boundaries such as Magic Leap and LEGO. After many years in San Francisco, Karen now lives in Basel, Switzerland.
Co-Founder/CEO, Vixen Labs
James Poulter (most people know him as JP) is the CEO of Vixen Labs and founder of Voice2 the UK’s leading Voice and Conversational Ai Community and an Innovation and Marketing consultant specialising in voice technology, conversational AI and social media.
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.
Distinguished Engineer & Offering Leader - AI at Scale/Trusted AI, IBM
Beth Rudden transforms people and companies through applied AI and empowerment with the ethical use of data. She leads large, geographically dispersed analytic and AI teams to develop cognitive solutions that deliver outcomes for IBM’s clients. Beth has received patents on solutions that provide more precise insights, better customer understanding, and faster implementation. Her anthropology, language, and data science background also help her develop models to transform the human experience.
Technology enthusiast and digital tinkerer since a kid, Otto learned to program at the age of 10, ran a BBS (pre-internet website) and was part of the Finnish demoscene revolution. Otto started his studies focusing on Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence but was quickly drawn into the startup world.
After having done technical work for over a decade Otto pivoted his career to business, studied business strategy and started a career in management consulting advising large European companies on surviving digital disruption and transforming and modernizing their organizations. Soonafter Otto founded Magenta Advisory, which he grew to become one of the most successful digital management consultancy boutiques in the Nordics, subsequently sold to BearingPoint.
Today Otto is considered an experienced growth entrepreneur with a solid track record of building and growing international digital businesses, and recognized as a digital disruption and transformation expert and advisor. In addition to Speechly, Otto helps and invests in early stage startups leveraging AI technologies to disrupt industries.
Hannes holds a PhD in Machine Learning from the Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. He is a seasoned professional in data applications, including voice interfaces and natural language processing, recommendation engines and personalization, predictive modelling, clustering, large scale data gathering and data processing pipelines, information retrieval and pattern mining. For the past years Hannes has been focusing mainly on deep learning, speech and natural language understanding.
Hannes’ key achievements include contributing to several services and applications used by hundreds of millions (to billions) of people globally including Google Maps, Apple Siri, Angry Birds and Nokia Music. At Rovio Hannes led the data engineering team building Rovio’s in-house data infrastructure, including analytics infrastructure for the Angry Birds games (200M+ MAU at that time). During his career Hannes has also published several original papers on machine learning and data mining in high quality venues like KDD, ICDM and HCOMP.
Pete is a musician and entrepreneur who believes that human connection is vital in the era of digital transformation. Pete founded Modev in 2009 to turn this belief into a mission of bringing the tech industry together. Today, Modev organizes some of the world’s top events, such as VOICE Summit, VOICE Global, All Day DevOps and the Webby Award Winning VOICE Talks with more than 100,000 attendees annually. Modev is a global team of more than 40 creatives, marketers and producers. Pete has been a contributor nationally at NPR, CBS, NBC and serves as the on-air “Tech Expert” for Fox 5 DC where he appears regularly to provide commentary on technology news that impacts consumers. Pete lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife, two kids and dog Maisey.
Executive Cyber Security Advisor, IBM
Michael Melore is the Executive Cyber Security Advisor for IBM. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Founder/Moderator for “SECRT”, regional CISO/Security Leader Round Table groups across the US (1,000+ Security Executive Members).
He is an author, frequent national public speaker and moderator, FBI InfraGard committeeman, and recognized subject matter expert in Security and Threat Intelligence, Identity Access Governance, and Authorization. His past consulting roles have included serving as lead architect for many of the world’s largest authentication and authorization infrastructures, including two of the 1st Billion user authentication infrastructures.
Michael is a champion, host and evangelist of regularly scheduled cyber range threat simulation exercises, cybersecurity training and education.
I help companies strategize on a holistic view of risks from emerging Technoloogy.
Drive risk remediation across boards, Senior Management, ines of business, IT and Cybersecurity teams. This is critical in the evolving threat landscape as the current evolving threats are unprecedented.
Personal mantra is: From Dialog to Action leading to actionable outcomes across the Organization through a holistic technical, rosk management and collaborative approach.
Chief Information Security Officer, New Jersey Courts
Sajed Naseem (“Saj”), is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of New Jersey Courts. Sajed has over twenty years of experience with information security and information technology across many industries. As the Chief Information Security Officer ("CISO") of the New Jersey Courts, Sajed has focused on Cybersecurity Readiness & Performance, Information Governance, and Network Security. Sajed holds Masters Degrees from St. John’s University and Columbia University. Sajed routinely speaks at Cybersecurity conferences nationally, Europe and with the New Jersey Bar Association. Sajed is also an Adjunct Professor at St. John’s University in Information Security since 2010 and a native of New York City.
Associate Professor, SoKat
Dr. Jim Kyung-Soo Liew is the President and Founder of SoKat Consulting and an Associate Professor of Finance at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Dr. Liew revels in pushing the boundaries of financial knowledge and product development both as an academic and FinTech entrepreneur. He has published pioneering research in the intersection of social media/big data, cryptos/blockchain, and financial markets. He currently teaches Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: Extracting Business Value, Crypto-Currencies and Blockchain, and Leading Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Additionally, he serves as ACT-IAC's Co-Chair of the AI Curriculum Committee and Chair of the Data Readiness for AI Committee. He has received the Dean’s Award for Faculty Excellence 2015-2019. He is on the Editorial Board of The Journal of the British Blockchain Association, Journal of Alternative Investments, Journal of Financial Data Science, and the Journal of Portfolio Management where he co-authored the most read Invited Editorial "iGDP?".
Dr. Liew co-founded SoKat Consulting, LLC. SoKat creates award-winning, world-class Machine Learning / AI and Blockchain products and services primarily servicing institutional investors, government agencies, academic institutions, and select-startups. SoKat unlocks the hidden value of data through thoughtful and creative solutions, comprising of actionable business intelligence, transparent data analytics, bold predictive models, and next-generation investment products. Previously, Dr. Liew has been with the Carlyle Asset Management Group, Campbell and Company, and Morgan Stanley. He holds a BA in Mathematics from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Finance from Columbia University.
He currently resides just outside of Baltimore with his wife and two daughters, whom he hopes to raise as next-generation disruptors.
Design Manager, Google Assistant
Cathy Pearl works at Google as a design manager on Google Assistant, and is the author of the O'Reilly book, "Designing Voice User Interfaces". She's been creating Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) for over 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 a BS in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego.
Developer Relations Engineer, Google Assistant
Jessica Den eEarley-Cha (she/her) is a Developer Relations Engineer for Google Assistant. She has been teaching developers how to build voice applications and App Actions for over 3 years. She enjoys connecting with developers and future developers. Jessica is @WomenInVoice Advocate, former @WomenTechmakers & @gdg lead, former @girldevelopit & @Hackbright teacher. Before attending a software bootcamp in 2015, Jessica worked in the non-profit sector for over 10 years, working primarily with at-risk female youths and adults with mental health challenges.
Toni Klopfenstein (she/her) is a Developer Relations Engineer for Google Assistant, focused primarily on Smart Home and IoT platforms. She has been involved with open-source hardware for over a decade, including her previous work at SparkFun Electronics and the Open Source Hardware Association, and enjoys mentoring and teaching. Toni believes in making technology and technology documentation accessible to empower others in making, hacking, and developing their own solutions.
OpenShift Cloud Services Specialist (AI/ML)
Noelle Silver is a multi-award-winning technologist and entrepreneur who specializes in conversational AI and Voice Technology, Operationalizing Data Science and Cloud Native App Development in the hybrid cloud. She has led teams at NPR, Microsoft, and Amazon, and is the founder of AI Leadership Institute, where she is mentoring and coaching girls and young women to pursue a career in AI and emerging technology. She is an OpenShift Cloud Services Specialist (AI/ML) at Red Hat and she is passionate about Mindful Leadership, authentic personal branding, and the ethical and responsible use of technology. She was recently awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award for Artificial Intelligence as well as VentureBeat’s Women in AI Responsibility and Ethics award. She is an influencer in Voice and AI globally.
VP of Conversational Commerce at Store No8, the incubation arm of Walmart
Dominique oversees Conversational Commerce after serving as Chief Product Officer of Jetblack, a members-only shopping service and Store Nº8’s first portfolio company. Dom joined Walmart through its acquisition of Bonobos where she was the Chief Experience Officer. Prior to that she was VP of product and user experience at Gilt Group, and spent 12 years leading product teams at Travelocity. Dominique graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Duke University where she also served as captain of their NCAA Women’s Varsity Volleyball team.
We believe human connectionis vital in the era of digitaltransformation.
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