Conversational Interaction Conference

Dates: January 30 – 31, 2017
Location: San Jose, California

The Conversational Interaction Conference, will be held this month in San Jose, California, January 30-31, 2017. It explores the ways companies can use a major revolution in the user interface: Conversing with computers in human language through text or voice.

The major topics covered in the sessions include

Natural language in IVR systems: Eliminate frustrating menus with a prompt such as “Please state briefly what you are calling about.”

Chatbots: Allow a customer to type a question on a web site as if they were addressing a customer service representative, with default to an agent only when necessary.

Bots for the messaging services: Allow an individual to text your bot in messaging services such as Facebook or Skype, and interact with continuing text messages.

Digital assistants that support the general personal assistants: The general personal assistants such as Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Samsung’s upcoming major entry can call up your company- or service-specific natural-language digital assistant. You can develop your virtual assistant with tools from these companies or third parties. Digital assistants are the new web sites reached by search through the general assistants. They will be an eventual necessity for every company.

Efficient ways to build digital assistants and bots: If you have “big data,” you can use machine learning techniques to build text- or voice-interactive digital assistants. But many companies offer “small-data” solutions, providing tools where you need only give a few examples of what a customer will say to extrapolate to a full natural-language interaction.

The mobile connection: Conversational interfaces are particularly beneficial on the small screens of mobile devices, allowing safe and quick use of applications on the go. The conference highlights examples and tools that make this option a practical reality.

Making enterprise software more effective through conversational interfaces: Conversational technology can connect your employees with enterprise software, making its use easier, and thus more pervasive and complete.

What are companies doing today? Case studies and examples of what the technology and tools can do now will help you gauge the state of today’s technology.

How is natural language technology evolving? The conference explores what you can expect in the near future.

Best practices: Like any new technology, one can use it poorly or well. Learn what the experts advise to avoid mistakes and user frustration.

Marketing and advertising: A conversational interface can engage a customer for long periods. One current interactive ad has engaged some customers for over an hour.

A sales channel: Close the sale within the conversation! One market study projected that a large fraction of a company’s sales would be generated through digital assistants and bots by 2021.

Dialogues: Go beyond a question-answer format to a conversation that includes context of the full dialogue with a user.

Supporting conversational technology: Core conversational technology is supported by tools that make it more effective. These include analytics and speech signal processing to eliminate background noise. 

The web site includes details of the program.

—Event Producer