McLean, VA, December 27, 2017 --(PR.com
)-- Witlingo, a McLean, VA based startup focused on delivering Voice First products and solutions on devices such as Amazon's Alexa, Google Home, and Microsoft's Cortana, is holding its inaugural conference at Weber State University, in Ogden, Utah. The two day conference will take place on January 25th-26th, 2018 and will overlap with the Sundance Film Festival, which is taking place in nearby Salt Lake City, from January 18th to January 28th.
Headlining the conference will be Phillip Hunter, Head of the Amazon Alexa Skills UX Team, and Brett Frischmann, The Charles Widger Endowed University Professor in Law, Business and Economics at Villanova University and author of "Re-Engineering Humanity," Cambridge University Press (forthcoming Spring 2018). Also featured will be Priyanka Vergadia from Google, Praphul Kumar from Genesys, and Leor Grebler, the founder of Ubisoft, the maker of The Ubi, the very first Far Field voice device that was delivered to the market back 2012. Members of the Comcast Voice team, Kyree Holmes and Neil Epstein, will also participate as well as Lisa Falkson, from Stanford University and former member of the Alexa UX team that launched the Amazon Echo in November 2014.
According to Dr. Ahmed Bouzid, Founder and CEO of Witlingo and Co-Chair of the Ubiquitous Voice Society, “The aim of the conference is to promote interdisciplinary, cross-pollinated dialogs and conversations between technology consumers, students, activists, writers, academicians and practitioners in the arts, the humanities and the social sciences, technologists, entrepreneurs and investors in information technology.”
“Technology is moving to a whole new level of disruption,” Dr. Bouzid added. “It’s time for us receivers of these mind-bending technologies to move away from our default role of passive, naive, cheerleading consumers, to users who have not only a much more discerning understanding of the impact these new technologies have on our lives, but also have a proactive say in what technologies we want and what problems we want solved. It’s time that we did away with the notion that the so-called 'Market' will determine what customers want, given that such markets are now dominated by a handful of behemoths with mercantile agendas and deep pockets, and who have the power to manipulate what we are supposed to want and the muscle to impose on us what we are supposed to need and love.”
“There is a massive difference between waiting for what kind of new features fridges, washing machines, lawn mowers, TVs and so on companies will bring to the market,” said Professor David Ferro, Dean of Engineering at Weber State University, where the event will be hosted, “and the emergence of things that are far more disruptive, like self-driving cars, drones, ubiquitous smart phones, and voice based, conversational technologies. It’s a whole new ball game and we can’t afford to wait for the nature of consumer engagement to change at its own slow pace. Tough questions are emerging and we can’t let private companies with narrow interests to make decisions that have monumental consequences on how we live our lives as healthy individual humans and robust communities and societies.”
In addition to talks from experts and practitioners, the conference will also include panels, workshops, and student contexts. The full program is available below and at https://www.lingofest2018.com/