February 14

Creating AI Conversations Panel Series: Voice User Interface Design & Nonverbal Communication 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 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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Cathy Pearl Panelist

Cathy Pearl is the author of the O’Reilly book “Designing Voice User Interfaces”. She is VP of User Experience at Sensely, making healthcare more effective and accessible with a virtual nurse avatar. During her time at Nuance and Microsoft, she designed VUIs for banks, airlines, healthcare companies, and Ford SYNC, and at Volio she built a conversational iPad app that has Esquire Magazine’s style columnist advise users on what they should wear on a first date. She has a BS in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego, and an MS in Computer Science from Indiana University.

Omar Abdelwahed Panelist

Omar Abdelwahed is Head of Studio at SoftBank Robotics America where he is responsible for leading strategic direction and development of Pepper applications in America. Previously, Omar was VP of Engineering at Mighty Play, a game developer in San Francisco. He has 18 years experience as an engineer working for large video game publishers, startups and retailers including Ubisoft, 2K, PLAYSTUDIOS and Best Buy. Omar's work includes the free-to-play shooter, "Ghost Recon Phantoms," and the NBA video game franchise, "NBA2K". Omar also founded the independent games developer, Agent Disco, where he published his first mobile game, "The Null Society".

Margaret Urban AI Conversation Panel Series

Margaret Urban has always been fascinated by how people communicate using language. After working as a editor and tech writer, she went to UC Berkeley to work in Linguistics, and then entered the world of speech recognition. Her goal is the creation of simple, transparent, natural, usable interactions. At Google she works on the front line of Conversation Design, integrating experience, research, and language data into the conversations people have with the Google Assistant.

Jeff Cabili AI Conversation Panel Series

Jeff Cabili has studied the Art of Mime with a disciple of Marcel Marceau, the world known French mime master. Jeff became a professional mime after being awarded a MS in Engineering and a MBA. At age 27, he started performing one-man shows and teaching mime techniques at schools and Universities in 7 countries. This changed significantly his life as it built up his self-confidence over the years. He worked at the GSB for 10 years as a business development executive. His business career and his art joined forces when he created a course on effective nonverbal skills. He has been teaching workshops on “Effective Nonverbal Communication” for the last 23 years and at Stanford Continuing Studies since 2006. His focus lies on body language, emotions and voice modulation.

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.