Fortunate Son

A fork in the road, a talk on AI ethics, and a report on conversational banking

Some folks are born made to wave the flag
They're red, white and blue
And when the band plays "Hail to the Chief"
They point the cannon at you

Coming Thursday: a deep dive into industry pioneer SoundHound.

Three pieces of content for you as the long Memorial Day weekend wraps up:

1) The fork in the road

Brian Roemmele is on the Mount Rushmore of the voice tech / conversational AI community for coining the term “voice-first” in light of his decades of work involving voice technology and nascent conversational AI.

After a brief sabbatical from Twitter, he’s returned with a new series called A Fork In The Road, describing our current transitional period of technology.

There should be no question you should go read anything he writes, particularly if you find anything I have to say valuable. I learned much of my knowledge on this space, especially early on back 4-5 years ago, from Brian. He’s generous, he’s humble, and he’s brilliant.

You can read the first part of his new series, and sign up for his publication Multiplex, here.

I spent some time on vacation today watching this video - a half-hour talk, followed by nearly an hour of Q&A, by a New York University academic named Meredith Whittaker. She is Faculty Director of NYU’s AI Now Institute, which is dedicated to research examining the social and political implications of artificial intelligence.

This talk, put on by the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science, consists just of her talking - no slides - but is interesting in the picture it paints and some of the historical context it draws from.

Whittaker has an additional interest in labor organizing, which seems to make her thoughts on AI a bit more forceful and immediate.

The entire talk can be found here and is worth watching:

There is a growing movement of individuals on social media championing “ethical AI” and it’s a topic we will be including from here on out at Project Voice Series events, the first of which will be Project Voice X in October. I’ll have a speaker announcement on this front soon.

Finally, there is a valuable new report out from the folks at Just AI about conversational banking. This report synthesizes a lot of information and is instantly a strong resource for those working in this sector.

I’m including the marketing information for this report, as well as the corresponding marketing information for Just AI’s upcoming conference Conversations (where I’ll be speaking as part of the program), below.

Over the last few years, the global banking industry has undergone significant changes in response to shifting customer preferences. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this digitalization of retail banks, stimulating an active transition of customers from traditional banking channels to digital ones. 

Leading analytical and consulting companies agree that having their own conversational AI strategy is an essential feature of banks' digital strategy, to stay ahead of changes and competitors. 

Which major changes in user expectations and tech innovations should be expected? How should banks strategize to meet these new expectations and establish a competitive edge? 

Find out with a fresh report from Just AI – Top 2021 Conversational Banking Trends, Redefining Financial Services.

Filled with insights and ideas, the report is based on leading research and analysis from around the world, as well as analysis from Just AI. 

If you want to learn more, take part in CONVERSATIONS – a conference that reflects the latest trends and the biggest events in the conversational AI industry. New strategies for voice, business insights, the best industry cases, a hackathon, master classes, a tech exhibition, and so much more!  

Register for and attend a real life, in person event!
Remember those?

Euphonious - our music festival, one of the first this year in the United States - Father’s Day weekend in Birmingham, Alabama - the beginning of a new type of SXSW-style event - register here

The Voice of Healthcare Summit - #1 event for voice, AI, and modern healthcare - register here

Digital Book World - the gathering of the wide world of publishing - register here

The Voice of Money - voice, AI, and modern banking and finance - register here

The Voice of Gaming - a brand new event spotlighting the surge in conversational AI in modern gaming, whether video games, board games, or other types of entertainment - register here

Project Voice X - landmark special edition of the #1 event for voice and AI in America, Project Voice - gathers together those working on voice tech, conversational AI, and social audio - register here

Project Voice 2022 has already been scheduled for next year, and if you can’t bring yourself to attend something in 2021, we’re not going anywhere - we’ll see you next April. Register here.