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Wednesday, January 15

7:30 AM Registration

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Session #301, Wednesday January 15 MAIN STAGE


Adventures with the Google Assistant: There and Back Again

Cathy Pearl (Head of Conversation Design Outreach, Google Assistant)

Voice assistants have been around longer than you might think. This talk takes a look at the challenges facing past, present, and future voice assistants. What were the challenges when smart speakers first came out? Which ones have we solved, and what new ones do we face in the coming year? We'll also look at how the Google Assistant is tackling privacy, accessibility and inclusion, and pushing the envelope with new and interesting use cases with voice. 

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Session #302, Wednesday January 15 MAIN STAGE

State of the Union: Microsoft and Voice AI

Eric Egland (Enterprise AI, Microsoft)

Come join the fun to see examples of real-world innovation: case studies in conversational AI that explore the opportunities and challenges, including some bumps and bruises along the way, to realizing true business value through conversational AI. Understand how your business or startup can rapidly benefit from advanced conversational AI cloud services today, which offer powerful capabilities that just two years ago required millions of dollars and highly specialized machine learning resources. Also, come hear a story you haven’t heard about how machine learning resulted in a dramatic reduction of US fatalities from roadside bombs in Iraq, and how a similar approach is being used to optimize consumer voice experiences across voice assistant platforms.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Coffee / Networking / Review of Exhibits

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Press Briefing (by invitation only)


10:00 AM - 10:30 AM BOOK SIGNING

Session #304, Wednesday January 15 

Designing Voice User Interfaces: Principles of Conversational Experiences (Cathy Pearl)

10:05 AM - 10:25 AM

Session #305, Wednesday January 15

Case Study: Opening the World to Shortcasts 

Armel Beaudry (CEO/Founder, Trebble.FM)

Information overload is a dormant problem in our society. In the past couple of years, it has been intensified by the rise of social media and the attention economy. In this presentation, we will talk about shortcasts, explain what they are, and why they are uniquely designed to combat information overload. We will also briefly share how Trebble is contributing to this fight by building on top of the benefits that shortcast as a format provides.

10:30 AM - 12:10 PM WORKSHOP

Session #310, Wednesday January 15

Building Voice Apps for Alexa, Google, and Cortana ... With No Code

Alex Farr (CEO), James Mann (Senior Developer), Guy Tonye (Chief Software Engineer), Zammo.AI

Get On Voice Today! 


Establish a branded presence and secure a unique “voice domain name” for your enterprise or business with Zammo's self-serve SaaS portal.


Bring your laptop to create voice channels and conversational content according to best practices, then deploy on voice assistants like Alexa, Google and Cortana—in minutes vs. a long, expensive cross-platform voice application development project. 


Learn how to quickly extend to more conversational AI channels like web chat, SMS, Facebook Messenger etc. Then share your deeper voice use case with the onsite Zammo engineers, who will help architect your backend integrations to enterprise systems like ServiceNow, Office365, etc.


Technical, marketing, and business attendees alike will be able to accelerate progress toward maximum ROI from voice.


Check out this story of how a Microsoft AI for Accessibility grant winner, OurAbility, used Zammo's platform to help people with disabilities find jobs:

10:30 AM - 12:10 PM Breakout Tracks:


10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Session #311, Wednesday January 15

Sonic Branding: The Essence of Voice-First Marketing?

Audrey Arbeeny (CEO, Audiobrain)

Massive advances in voice-enabled technologies are fueling dramatic changes in the way people interact in the digital world. We are clearly in the VoiceFirst Era. Touchpoints such as podcasts, flash briefings, emerging technologies such as speech synthesis, as well as massive emerging devices are creating new marketing opportunities through voice, and the explosion of smart devices, AI, VR, and other voice-centric capabilities are making the consideration of voice, and a voice strategy, a marketing imperative for 2020. Consumers now have so many choices, and they are listening at an unprecedented level. 


But Voice is actually a part of a broader, extremely powerful landscape - one that consists of music, voice, sound, and vibration. Sonic Branding is the art and science that surrounds the strategic development and deployment of a consistent, authentic sound experience of a brand. Sound heightens all the senses, is easily remembered, and can go where visuals cannot. It is proven to elevate brand preference, and shape the perception of a brand. SoundFirst is now brand imperative and significantly defines and sets the foundations for all aural communications, including voice. 


In this session, we’ll discuss what sonic branding is, the methodologies used to develop a sonic strategy, integrating voice branding into the equation, and the untapped landscape for utilizing intentional audio for not only a greater ROI, but also a far more immersive, emotionally-connecting brand communication. Through cases studies and work examples from global brands, including voice branding, you’ll be empowered with a clear understanding of the value of sonic branding, and future impact on all sound offerings. You’ll leave with key takeaways that any brand, at any level, can implement immediately for a better sound and voice experience. 


11:05 AM - 11:35 AM

Session #321, Wednesday January 15

The Voice-Enabled Restaurant

Michael L. Atkinson (CEO, Orderscape)

The US restaurant industry is massive, generating over $638 billion in 2019 from just about 1 million restaurants, representing about 170 million transactions a day. Now, about 60% of all off transactions are from off-premise channels; including drive-thru, catering, and delivery. This is why Doordash, Waitr, Grubhub and UberEats, among others, love this $10 billion delivery segment of the $323 billion off-premise market. But how consumers order food from restaurants is up for grabs in 2020 and beyond, as voices become pervasive and consumers embrace voice assistants, mobile gateways, and new, innovative, voice-enabled food-ordering marketplaces like Orderscape’s IM portal.

While still pre-launch, Orderscape is the first voice-enabled food search and commerce portal that helps consumers search and find over 6.5 million menu items at nearly 50,000 restaurants nationwide. Learn why restaurants must embrace voice as a channel, how Orderscape does it, and how the restaurant industry is quickly evolving to embrace voice for kiosks, automotive, drive thru, Voice assistants, and mobile gateways.

11:40 AM - 12:10 PM

Session #331, Wednesday January 15

Building Great Voice Experiences for the Brave New World of AI

John Kelvie (CEO, Bespoken); Emerson Sklar (Chief Evangelist, Bespoken)

A review of best practices for designing, coding, and testing voice experiences. The session will focus on:

● Why quality is critical for voice

● The key differences in building for AI platforms as opposed to the web/mobile

● How to stay one-step ahead of the machine (learning) and ensure Five-Star experiences, consistently

We’ll review the build/test/tune regimen that should be part of every voice practitioner’s toolkit, and show just how easy it is to get started.


10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Session #312, Wednesday January 15

Project Silver: Google Assistant and Aging Populations

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald (Independent Voice strategy consultant and program manager)

How can Voice technology enable older adults? Hear the story of Project Silver: how Google, the Dutch Government, ANBO (the local AARP) and Achema (the main national health insurer) got together to answer this question. Learn the 5 action points based on the largest Older Adult x Voice research done to date. Voice technology enables us all and will make technology inclusive. Join and let’s start a movement!

11:05 AM - 11:35 AM

Session #322, Wednesday January 15

How Voice Technology and AI Will Change Chronic Disease Care

Ken Sakal (Director, Product Management, AireHealth)

A real-world example of how voice technology and Artificial Intelligence can, and are, helping wheezy children and their parents manage post-diagnosis asthma. From air quality to air flow, education to eczema, and reminders to rankings, Voice + AI can make it easier for millions of patients to live with asthma.

11:40 AM - 12:10 PM

Session #332, Wednesday January 15

What's So Conversational About Conversational Interfaces?

Healthcare Use Cases For Google Assistant

Michael McTear (Emeritus Professor of Knowledge Engineering, Ulster University)

Conversational interfaces have emerged as a new way to interact with AI assistants on smartphones, smart speakers, and other devices. However, to what extent are these systems truly conversational? Generally, a distinction is made between task-oriented systems and those that engage in social conversation (or chit-chat). This session will argue for a third type, in which the assistant takes part in a conversation with the user in order to solve a problem: for example, to provide support and advice in a healthcare context. Mike McTear will discuss the technical and other challenges faced in developing this new type of conversational interface, looking first at simpler, handcrafted applications that they have developed at Ulster University, and then considering the merits and issues of more advanced applications based on techniques from AI and machine learning that constitute the current state-of-the art in conversational AI.


10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Session #313, Wednesday January 15

Voice Strategy: Telling Your Story

Scot Westwater and Susan Westwater (Co-Founders, Pragmatic Digital)

It’s clear Voice offers brands and businesses the opportunity to deliver value to their audiences through useful and usable experiences. What’s not clear is how to create experiences valuable to your audience that genuinely integrate your brand. Susan and Scot Westwater will share their strategic approach to pragmatically extending your brand into the voice channel. They’ll also share how to develop a promotional plan to drive awareness and usage of your Voice experience.


11:05 AM - 11:35 AM

Session #323, Wednesday January 15

Cloning Voices: The Evolution of Voice Content

Zohaib Ahmed (CEO and Co-Founder, Resemble.AI)

Voice cloning has made tremendous progress in the last couple of years and is shaping up to shake the increasingly audio-focused world. We'll discuss the current state of the art in voice cloning, see dozens of examples of where it can make an impact, discuss the importance and engagement benefits of augmenting voice experiences with custom voices, dive into technical details, and give a glimpse of what the future holds. We'll also show demonstrations of how synthetic voices can integrate with your product today and how you can get started.

11:40 AM - 12:10 PM

Session #333, Wednesday January 15

The Transhumanist View of Voice Tech and AI

Micah Redding (Executive Director, Christian Transhumanist Association)

What is the future of our AI digital assistants? What are they evolving into, and how are we shaping their evolution through our interactions today? In a world rapidly being transformed by AI, voice technology is one of the major connecting points between humans and machines, raising the possibility of reshaping technology, the world, and humanity itself.


10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Session #314, Wednesday January 15

Creating Voice Applications for Emerging Markets

Daniel Whitenack (Data Scientist, SIL International)

Emerging markets, such as India, Indonesia, China, and Brazil, are presenting ripe opportunities for voice applications. Not only are these economies increasing their share of global consumption and promising a majority of future mobile phone use, but they also include populations that are oriented towards oral communication and knowledge sharing. In this talk we will help you understand the “why” and “how” of developing voice applications for these markets. You will come away with practical steps to help you expand your current language support and tap into new opportunities.

11:05 AM - 11:35 AM

Session #324, Wednesday January 15

The Secrets of Compelling VUI Design

Emily Lonetto (Head of Growth, Voiceflow)

First there was designing for desktop, then mobile, and now voice. With the explosive growth of voice platforms and interfaces comes an even greater opportunity for designers, makers, and businesses to build new user experiences. Using examples from both the past and our current community of users, we'll paint a picture of some of the best ways to build a compelling and inventive voice experience. 

11:40 AM - 12:10 PM

Session #334, Wednesday January 15

Voice and Visuals: The Future of Retail

Emily Binder (Founder/Chief Strategist, Beetle Moment Marketing)

Voice represents the next generation of retail, much like mobile commerce did years ago. However, for v-commerce to truly take off, it cannot remain a voice-only experience. Customers want to actually see what they’re buying when they make a purchase. According to Applause, 69% of consumers are more inclined to make a voice purchase if there is a visual component.


Multimodal experiences are your opportunity to revolutionize the future of retail, but how can you best deliver on these experiences? Discover the unique challenges multimodal can help you overcome and take home best practices to ensure your voice commerce experiences are of the highest quality.


10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Session #315, Wednesday January 15

Google Actions As Voice-Based Websites

Paul Hickey (CEO, Data Driven Design)

The data have spoken. Nearly 200 million people are getting their information from voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, and it’s time businesses built a presence on top of these platforms and started using voice-based apps to streamline their marketing and operations, and increase efficiency and effectiveness. Whether delivering a voice-based version of your company’s website so your audience can interact while walking the dog, an interactive extension of your company’s intranet that employees can check in on while waiting in line at the store, or a training for your sales force that they can take while driving, the possibilities are endless. This session will walk you through a new seamless way to turn your WordPress website into an Alexa Skill and Google Action.

11:05 AM - 11:35 AM

Session #325, Wednesday January 15

Train to Tame Toxicity: Improve Communications Apps with TensorFlow

Lizzie Siegle (Developer Evangelist, Twilio)

Machine Learning is a huge field right now because it can be applied to so many industries to solve a wide variety of problems in interesting ways. This exciting talk will feature a live-coding demo and go over when and why you should add Machine Learning to your communication applications with chat or voice, the benefits of using TensorFlow over other libraries and tools, and more. 

11:40 AM - 12:10 PM

Session #335, Wednesday January 15

PANEL: Voice Tech In The Classroom

Julie Daniel Davis (Director of Instructional Technology & Innovation, Chattanooga Christian School)

Rebecca Dwenger (Instructional Technology Consultant, Hamilton County ESC)

Moderator: Bradley Metrock

Educated insights on voice assistants in the educational landscapes - what works and what doesn’t, plus concerns and excitement about using the voice paradigm for student learning. 


10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Session #316, Wednesday January 15

A Unicorn in the Voice Universe

John Best (President and CEO, Best Innovation Group)

The next wave of digital transformation for financial services is obviously voice. But in an industry where data is sourced from dozens of disparate back-end systems, the seemingly simple act of voice-enabling a banking transaction is fraught with pitfalls from incompatible systems to a regulatory maze.  While the largest financial firms may have the resources to build these solutions for themselves, where does that leave the 98% of community and regional financial services firms that need to engage with this technology?

The solution is an extensible, multi-tenant platform that enables voice agencies like BIG to not only create but host and manage voice applications for hundreds of customers. In this session, we'll discuss the hills and valleys encountered by BIG in their quest to design and maintain this unicorn in the churning waters of today's voice services expansion.

11:05 AM - 11:35 AM

Session #326, Wednesday January 15

Conversational AI and the Enterprise: A Special Panel with The SIPtones

Jon Arnold (Principal, J Arnold & Associates) (Moderator)

Rick Hathaway (Principal, RLH Telecom Solutions); Steve Leaden (President, Leaden Associates); Valerie Mclean (Principal, Mclean Web Designs); Chuck Vondra (Principal & Senior Consultant,  Communication Strategies)

Communications consultants have a front-row seat for how enterprises are adopting new technology to manage their networks, and help employees be more productive in the workplace. This session will explore how IT decision-makers are approaching new technologies, particularly around the business value that AI-driven voice applications can bring. On the panel: members of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants, the leading industry organization focused on helping businesses deploy the best technologies and to select the right vendors to partner with.

11:40 AM - 12:10 PM 

Session #336, Wednesday January 15

Discovering the Landscape of Intel's Voice Developer Tools

Noah Clemons (Technical Consulting Engineer) and Julie Maas (Senior Product Manager), Intel

This session will showcase Conversational AI use cases and solutions from Intel ecosystem partners, and highlight converged hardware and software workload offerings for edge AI developers with insights into future voice-first and multi-modal opportunities and challenges.

Learning objectives: Highlight Intel Edge AI portfolio developer tools for customers and developers to better understand how to make the investment in their existing infrastructure more valuable. 


10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Session #317, Wednesday January 15

Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing, and the Quest for Understanding

Shamoon Siddiqui (NLP Researcher and Ph.D. Candidate, Rowan University)

While artificial intelligence continues to pop up as a buzzword doing ever more incredible things, learn why Natural Language Processing can unlock the mysteries of how humans think and reason. Deep Learning methods and models have unlocked a new understanding of how language works. This talk will give an overview of current state of the art methods with a thorough, but overly technical, explanation of how they actually work.

11:05 AM - 11:35 AM

Session #327, Wednesday January 15

Universal Access to Voice Applications:

No Echo, No App, No Problem

Dave Robinett (CMO, #250)

From its earliest days, US telephony policy included the concept of “universal service,” meaning every citizen should have access (at a reasonable price), in order to increase the value of the overall network. Today, access to voice-based applications is limited, based on the tech ecosphere of the user, or the penetration of smart speakers, mobile apps or automotive dashboard – which limits the maximum user base and therefore profits or impact of your application. This session will show how access to your voice application (including voice commerce) from any mobile phone is possible.

11:40 AM - 12:10 PM 

Session #337, Wednesday January 15

Voice Tech, Pensions, and the Dutch Government

Jeroen Vonk (Innovation Designer, NoVUM Innovatie Lab)

How can older adults easily retrieve information about their pensions from the government? How do you know where to go for that information? Is a Google action the perfect solution? And how do we apply what we have learned at Project Silver? This story gives you the insights in which failure was the greatest learning point and turning point. How the Dutch Government was put on its head with voice technology. And a glimpse of the future in #VoiceFirst for government services.

12:10 PM - 1:10 PM Lunch / Networking / Review of Exhibits

12:25 PM - 12:45 PM

Session #341, Wednesday January 15

Case Study: The Rise of Open Voice

Maarten Lens-FitzGerald (Global Head of Voice, Nodes); Sam Warnaars (Head of Innovation, aFrogLeap)

What is there to learn from one of the most innovative countries when it comes to Voice? More than you think! The Netherlands has been the fastest Voice-adopting country since launch. Besides the entrepreneurial spirit of the Dutch, there is a thing or two you can replicate in your own region. Learn how the Dutch have built a Voice Community that champions cooperation and quickly matured to a level close to the markets where Voice now is across the chasm. Speakers Maarten and Sam are the drivers of the Dutch community. They want to help others do the same in their markets.


12:45 PM - 1:05 PM

Session #342, Wednesday January 15

Case Study: The Nashville Voice Conference 

Paul Hickey (CEO, Data Driven Design)

The first-ever Nashville Voice Conference took place on July 31, 2019 at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN. There, 63 small business owners and mid-level marketers focused on how businesses can become more efficient and effective by implementing Alexa Skills, Google Actions, and Alexa Flash Briefings, as well as podcasts for business. This was Nashville’s first straight-up workshop-style conference focused specifically on Voice in Business, and raised $3,500 for Nashville non-profit Corner To Corner. Conference Founder Paul Hickey presents a case study on how the event helped businesses learn and build their voice-based digital toolkits, and how the 2020 Conference aims to double in size, content and impact. Project Voice attendees are encouraged to come listen to this session and get involved.

1:10 PM - 1:35 PM 

Session #351, Wednesday January 15 MAIN STAGE

The Need To Be Understood

Nancy Crimi-Lamanna (Chief Creative Officer, FCB Canada)

Ben Tarr (Board Member, Canadian Down Syndrome Society)

Project Understood is the partnership between Google and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society which is working to make Google Assistant more understood and more capable for those who have Down Syndrome. This inspiring initiative has wide-reaching implications for the entire voice/AI landscape and we'll discuss them in this not-to-be-missed session.

1:35 PM - 2:05 PM 

Session #352, Wednesday January 15 MAIN STAGE

Ethical Considerations within the Voice Landscape

Brooke Hawkins (Senior Conversation Designer, Myplanet)

Emerson Sklar (Chief Evangelist, Bespoken)

Brooke Hawkins and Emerson Sklar will host the first Voice Ethics Community Town Hall - featuring an introduction of the newly created Voice Ethics group, information about how to get involved year-round, as well as thought provoking questions to shape the future vision and mission of the group. Audience members are encouraged to participate, sign up, and learn more about the goals of a Voice Ethics Community.

2:05 PM - 2:45 PM

Session #353, Wednesday January 15 MAIN STAGE

The Last Interface: The Challenges Ahead In 2020

Brian Roemmele (Coined the term "voice-first," legendary voice tech inventor and consultant)

A Fireside Chat Moderated By Bradley Metrock

2:45 PM - 3:15 PM

Session #354, Wednesday January 15 MAIN STAGE

Opening Doors for Local Languages with AI

Chris Benson (Principal Artificial Intelligence Strategist, Lockheed Martin); Dan Whitenack (Data Scientist, SIL)

Bringing voice technology to the local languages of emerging markets presents huge challenges. Good data is scarce or non-existent. Users often have bandwidth or connectivity issues. Existing platforms target only a small number of high-resource languages. These and related problems will only be solved when AI technology and resources from industry are combined with linguistic expertise from those on the ground working with local language communities. Chris Benson, principal artificial intelligence strategist with Lockheed Martin, and Daniel Whitenack, a data scientist with SIL International, illustrate this as they team up to present practical ideas for pushing voice technology into emerging markets. Chris has deep knowledge in computing and embedding systems, and Daniel brings natural language processing experience backed by an NGO currently doing linguistic work in over 90 countries. Together, they represent the type of collaboration that is necessary to make voice technology a reality for much of the world.

3:15 PM - 3:45 PM Coffee / Networking / Review of Exhibits


3:20 PM - 3:40 PM

Session #355, Wednesday January 15

Case Study: Voice + Cardiology = Saving $$$

Reid Maclellan, M.D. (Harvard Medical School / Boston Children's Hospital)

To our regret: SESSION CANCELLED ... speaker sidelined by the flu

3:45 PM - 5:25 PM Breakout Tracks (continued):

3:45 PM - 5:25 PM WORKSHOP

Session #360, Wednesday January 15

From Concept to Personality:

Creating Engaging Voice Experiences

Adva Levin (Founder, Pretzel Labs)

In a world where everyone is starting to have a voice-first presence, engagement is key: how you sound, what you say, and what you do to get your audience to enjoy talking to you are the things that will make YOUR voice app stand out and be remembered. In this hands-on workshop we will explore different types of voice-first experiences that all put user engagement first. We’ll look into business use cases ranging from pop stars to hotel chains, come up with new concepts, write personas and dialog, and reimagine their voice-first presence. This workshop is helpful for businesses exploring voice and studios creating original work. No prior knowledge is required. Please come curious, creative, and prepared to play.


3:45 PM - 4:15 PM

Session #361, Wednesday January 15

Manipulating Data & Spreadsheets With Google Assistant: A Look Ahead

Allen Firstenberg (Creator of Vodo Drive; Project Guru at Objective Consulting)

What does it sound like to talk with our data? What does it feel like? Voice technology is amazingly contextual and personal -- the most relevant answers come from the data that we, ourselves, have collected. Since the first digital spreadsheets were created over 40 years ago, people have used them to collect and organize personal data of all sorts -- from car mileage records to schedules. Spreadsheets represent a very personal way to organize data. What better way to update and access this data than through voice? Spreadsheets are also one of the most common programming languages. At a time when we seek "no code" solutions for many of our problems, modern spreadsheets such as Excel and Google Sheets continue to be some of the most popular ways for people to create interfaces for our data. It makes sense to bring this democratic technology to another democratizing force: voice. We will discuss our experiences in developing Vodo Drive, a voice interface for Google Sheets and more, why the Google Assistant made this easier than on other platforms, and why direct and personal control of our own data through voice represents the next frontier of voice control.

4:20 PM - 4:50 PM 

Session #371, Wednesday January 15

Voice Search Optimization: Lessons Learned

Sam Warnaars (Head of Innovation, aFrogLeap)

We’re ready to see the next level of voice experiences. How can you integrate voice in your total customer journey? How do you make more personalised experiences using data from CRM, Loyality, and web profiles? What if we could optimise our SEA strategy with the voice interactions on our skills and actions? This session will go through some of the concepts that we expect to grow into the next maturity level for voice experiences. This session is accessible for non-technical people. All concepts are explained in easy to understand examples.

4:55 PM - 5:25 PM 

Session #381, Wednesday January 15

Voice And Brand Perception: Case Studies From Amsterdam

Maikel van der Wouden (CEO, Voicebranding.AI)

To our regret: SESSION CANCELLED ... last-minute speaker complications


3:45 PM - 4:15 PM

Session #362, Wednesday January 15

Law-Making and Ethics of AI Personhood

Bianca Phillips (Author, Making The Digital Health Revolution)

Should a voice assistant (VA) be afforded legal personhood status? Let's consider a thought experiment, discuss the current legal constructs, and your role in shaping the future of law and society. This talk is intended to activate your participation in the law-making process, with insights from thought leadership originating in the United States of America and Australia.

4:20 PM - 4:50 PM 

Session #372, Wednesday January 15

Voice and Sound: Audio Advancements in Emerging Healthcare Technologies

Audrey Arbeeny (CEO, Audiobrain)

As we rapidly move to a VoiceFirst /Sound First Landscape, many technologies in healthcare are emerging that are enriching, and saving, lives. The landscape of health and wellness has changed dramatically as we create products, environments, podcasts, apps, wearable health devices, hearables, VR, AI, and many other advancements. But what does this world sound like? As we advance our technology, we cannot overlook that sound can offer non-verbal communication, and voice and sound can bring an empathy to the experience, reinforce the action, and provide feedback on key interactions. And the right voice, when carefully deployed, can also reinforce the overarching experience for a far more holistic experience. In this session, we’ll bring an understanding of sonic branding utilizing music, sound, voice, and vibration to the advancements and opportunities in healthcare. We’ll take a look at the balance between technology and sound, and show real-world case examples of how to optimize an experience that is both technologically and holistically balanced for the optimal end user outcome. Examples ranging from smart devices and health/ fitness devices to surgical equipment will be explored and discussed, as we set the next level of sound and voice in the Healthcare Landscape.

4:55 PM - 5:25 PM 

Session #382, Wednesday January 15

The American Cancer Society: Lessons Learned 

Tareq Dowla (Digital Product Manager, American Cancer Society)

For over 100 years The American Cancer Society (ACS) has been leading the fight for a world without cancer by making breakthroughs in research, helping patients with free rides to treatment, providing 24/7 answers to cancer questions, and urging lawmakers to make cancer a top priority.

Engaging consumers via digital has become a top priority for the organization and our mantra is to deliver innovative, relevant, and impactful experiences in the consumer’s digital channel of choice. Join us to learn more about what ACS does, some of our more recent digital products, and how we came to the decision to launch our first Alexa skill.


3:45 PM - 4:15 PM

Session #363, Wednesday January 15

Audiobooks, Assistants, and Accessibility

Wendy Reid (Chair, Publishing Working Group, W3C)

Audiobooks have been part of the publishing landscape for over 100 years, since the invention of the gramophone. Modern developments in mobile Internet, storage, devices, and voice technology have vastly increased the popularity of the format in recent years, and publishers are eager to get on the trend. In spite of this history, Audiobooks have no common standard or specification, leading to fragmentation in the market. In this session, we will discuss the development of the W3C’s Audiobook specification, along with the work of the Publishing Working Group to bring this specification to market, and its potential impact on publishers, retailers, and users.

4:20 PM - 4:50 PM 

Session #373, Wednesday January 15

You Get What You Pay For:

On The Value of Playing (and Paying) Fairly in #VoiceFirst Media Content

Adrien Glover (Head of Strategy and Content Marketing, BOOM Integrated); Sarah Storm (Head of Ideation and Conversation Design, BOOM Integrated)

Like podcasting, VoiceFirst content ranges from the sublime to the cringeworthy. Often, the deciding factor is the VO. Come chat with BOOM Integrated about the power of hiring great performers to voice artful, compelling content that will draw users and listeners, and learn the reasons why BOOM decided to strike a fair deal with SAG-AFTRA before we made our first demo.


4:55 PM - 5:25 PM 

Session #383, Wednesday January 15

Content Challenges: Moving From Alexa To Google Assistant

Rebecca Rolfe (Product Designer for Voice Platforms, NPR); Tommy O'Keefe (Senior Software Engineer, NPR)

"It sounds easy" is the bane of voice developers building for novel and rapidly-changing platforms. Rebecca left Google not sure why third parties weren't building more ideal voice flows, but after a few months working at NPR she found out! Tommy and Rebecca propose key features needed to build the audio experiences users would love and expect, as a shortlist to platform creators on what to support next.


3:45 PM - 4:15 PM

Session #364, Wednesday January 15

PANEL: Voice and The Enterprise

Moderator: Jon Arnold (Principal, J Arnold & Associates)

Daniela Braga (CEO, DefinedCrowd); Alexey Khitrov (CEO, ID R&D); Gleb Oblomskiy (Chief Product Owner, Just AI);  Alvaro Riera (Director, Presales & Services Development, NWN)

Voice remains a core communications mode in the workplace, and has long been telephony-centric, usually centered on the PBX. New technologies have emerged to change the enterprise voice landscape, starting with VoIP, then cloud, and most recently, AI. This has led to exciting innovation and new forms of business value that are far removed from the PBX. This panel features cutting-edge leaders in this evolution to showcase some of these new applications, and how they can help take enterprise productivity to a new level.


4:20 PM - 4:50 PM 

Session #374, Wednesday January 15

#VoiceFirst Government: Smart Cities And Using Voice Tech For Social Good

Michael Novak (Founder, Digital Transformation Partners)

As conversational voice AI applications continue to grow in popularity and sophistication, questions are being raised about their value, responsibility, and role in making communities “smarter” and how they can be used to achieve social good. This interactive session will explore key issues such as how society should treat them (Are they a tool, family pet, or my supervisor?), Bias (Is a British female voice more trustworthy than an American male?), and governmental guidelines and regulations (Inclusive Design, SDG, GDPR, IEEE, privacy laws). Practical examples of how they are being used today to reduce costs and improve CCX (Citizen Customer Experience), accessibility, education, and healthcare services will be highlighted.


4:55 PM - 5:25 PM 

Session #384, Wednesday January 15

PANEL: The State of Voice Developer Ecosystems

Moderator: Pete Erickson (CEO, Modev; Executive Producer, VOICE Summit)

Lisa Falkson (Senior VUI Designer, Amazon)

Kane Simms (Host and Producer, VUX World)

The landscape of voice developer ecosystems, from Amazon to Google to Samsung and beyond, is rapidly becoming more competitive than ever. Voice assistants, craving a killer app, need developers in order to pursue new functionality that will propel the space forward. This panel will discuss how these tech behemoths are approaching the task of cultivating developer ecosystems, and what we can expect to see over the course of 2020.


3:45 PM - 4:15 PM

Session #365, Wednesday January 15

Building Voice Experiences for Children

Jeremy Wilken (Host, Design For Voice)

As my two-year old shyly stepped next to the Google Mini, she gently spoke her request: "Alexa, play soundtrack Frozen on Spotify." Immediately her disappointment rose and she turned to me nearly in tears and whispered "Daddy, it didn't hear me." One moment later she realized that the music had started playing, though the first song has a quiet build up, and she instantly switched to joy: "Daddy, it did hear me!"


In this session, you'll hear stories of how children use voice technologies and lessons that designers and developers need to keep in mind when building for children. The voice first generation has already been born, and it is our duty to make safe and functional experiences for them.

4:20 PM - 4:50 PM 

Session #375, Wednesday January 15

A Case For Accessibility: Voice-Enabled Screen Readers

Alexandra Vtyurina (Ph.D. Candidate, University of Waterloo)

To our regret: SESSION CANCELLED ... last-minute speaker complications

4:55 PM - 5:25 PM 

Session #385, Wednesday January 15

Reducing Gender-Based Marginalization in Conversation Design

Rebecca Evanhoe (Conversation Designer, Amazon Web Services)

Because conversational interfaces are created by humans, and because they mimic human conversation, they can carry the same gender-based biases that we see in our culture. This talk covers actionable ways you can check for gender bias and reduce its harmful impact. Whether you’re a designer, a developer, or a manager, you’ll leave with five clear questions to take back to your team.


3:45 PM - 4:15 PM

Session #366, Wednesday January 15

Entering Voice as a Multi-Brand Company

Rachel Waldstein (Director, CRM & Retention, Wolverine Worldwide)

Nick Laidlaw (CTO, Voicify)

Wolverine Worldwide has a portfolio of over ten shoe brands. Activating a new channel is carefully considered and planned. Yet over-planning can create latency and missed opportunity as a first mover and CX differentiator. Hear about Wolverine’s process of activating not one, but three voice endpoints (Google Assistant, Bixby, and Alexa), all at once - from the kernel of an idea to overcoming technical and management challenges identified through business planning.

4:20 PM - 4:50 PM 

Session #376, Wednesday January 15

Building Interactive Games for Google Assistant Using Smart Display

Allen Firstenberg (Project Guru, Objective Consulting)

Actions on Google is a developer platform that lets you create conversational actions for the Google Assistant. In this talk, you will learn the key fundamental concepts when developing a game action for Google Assistant. We will also go over the Interactive Canvas - a new feature that allows you to build a full screen experience for smart displays and Android phones using web technologies such as HTML, CSS and Javascript. Learn more by visiting:

Introduction video:
Experimental game samples:

4:55 PM - 5:25 PM 

Session #386, Wednesday January 15

Voice-Enabling the Modern Call Center

Alvaro Riera (Director of Presales, NWN)

The Contact Center and Unified Communication businesses are truly going through a transformation driven by the technology innovation, the raise of socials, and new consumption models. From a technology standpoint there is very little doubt that the advent of Artificial Intelligence is transforming the traditional call centers into more rational Call Centers - Call Centers that went from an IT cost to a strategic tool to increase Customer Experience, achieve higher customer service levels and quality, increase the productivity of agents, and even lift up their traditional role to customer advisors and consultants.


The proliferation of digital social tools within clients is driving the urgent need to upgrade a traditional voice-only call center into a modern Digital Omnichannel Contact Center - and this certainly represents the perfect timing to plan the insertion of Artificial Intelligence.


5:30 PM - 9:00 PM

The Project Voice Awards Gala

5:30 PM Cocktails / Live Music

6:00 PM Dinner

6:30 PM Awards Begin

7:30 PM Roast Begins

8:30 PM Live Music

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