January 24

Creating AI Conversations Panel Series: Personality and Voice in AI

Creating AI Conversations
Winter Quarter Panel Series

4:15pm-6:00pm CERAS 101, Stanford
Free & Open to the Public As Space Permits

Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) personalities are playing an increasing role in our everyday lives. In addition to our personal assistants, industries such as education, healthcare, hospitality, transportation, and law are using AI to varying degrees. As conversational AI becomes integrated in our society, we need to give serious thought to mindfully creating these personalities and conversations. These are personalities that are not only going to be keeping us company and helping to make our daily lives easier, but coaching us into changing our behavior, helping us navigate the world, and teaching our children.

Creating AI Conversations is a series of panel discussions that will delve into the thinking, research, and process around crafting the personalities, conversations, and interactions of AI entities with people. Five panel sessions will take place in January and February from 4:15pm-6:00pm pm in CERAS 101.

Please join us on Wednesday Jan 17th, 24th, and 31st as well as Feb 7th, and 14th, as we bring together a diverse set of Thought Leaders from the Stanford community and industry to discuss:

AI and Behavior Change
Personality and Voice in AI
Children and AI
Race, Gender, and Ethnicity and AI
Voice User Interface Design (VUI) and nonverbal communication in AI

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Mariana Lin Panelist

Mariana Lin is an AI Writer and Personality Designer. She was the lead writer behind Siri, developing personality and voice internationally, and currently consults for clients such as Sophia of Hanson Robotics and a multilingual chatbot. Over the past 15 years, her writing has appeared in publications such as New York magazine, GQ, The Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and she has won awards for poetry and copywriting. She has varying levels of proficiency in French, Chinese, classic Greek, ASL, LAMP, and is interested in the interplay of language, culture, and AI identity. She holds a BA from Swarthmore College, a JD from Berkeley Law School, and is an MFA candidate at Pacific University.

Wally Brill AI Conversations Panel Series

Wally Brill is a Sr. Persona Designer for Adecco at Google. Previously, a music producer in the US and UK, Wally’s fascination with voice interaction began in 1999 at Nuance Communications where, as Director of Persona Design and Production he created the process for designing, testing and developing branded, humanlike personas for enterprises and governments worldwide. He co-founded the first VUI consultancy, VoicePartners in 2002 to deliver speech recognition systems designed around user needs and brand values. As Director of Global Self Service for eBay, he led a team on three continents assisting millions of eBay members daily. And now as Senior Persona Designer for Adecco at Google, he helps bring the future of persona for AI to The Google Assistant.

Leif Haven Martinson AI Conversations Panel Series

Leif Haven Martinson is a writer, award-winning poet, and Lead Designer at Botanic Technologies, where he helps develop chatbots, voice assistants, and avatars. Previously, he contributed to the design of educational games and experiences about CRISPR, black holes, and gardening in space with Field Day Lab, an education innovation lab at the University of Wisconsin. He has also worked in branding, marketing, content strategy and journalism for startups, agencies, and organizations in California and abroad.

Sunny Xun Liu AI Conversation Panel Seriess

Sunny Xun Liu is an Associate Director of Social Media Lab at Stanford. The Stanford Social Media Lab works on understanding psychological and interpersonal processes in social media. Dr.Liu’s research focuses on the social and psychological effects of social media and AI, and how the design of social robots impact psychological perceptions.

Anna Pickard AI Conversations Panel Series

Anna Pickard is the Creative Director of Voice and Tone at Slack. From company brand voices to games to bots and UI, Anna has spent much of her career thinking about how inanimate objects and virtual concepts can communicate with the world in a way that makes people feel like they're dealing with a human.

Elizabeth Arredondo AI Conversations Panel Series

Elizabeth Arredondo is a mediaX Visiting Scholar and moderator of the panel series. Her research focuses on creating conversations with automated agents; she currently designs the personality, backstory, and the conversations for a robotic wellness coach named Mabu at Catalia Health. After earning her MFA in Writing for Screen and TV from USC's School for Cinematic Arts in 2005, Elizabeth received a feature film writing fellowship and participated in NBC's "Writers on the Verge" program. Elizabeth went on to work as a staff writer on the primetime CBS drama COLD CASE and develop original pilots.