Thursday, January 16, 2020

January 16, 2020

Designing Responsible Conversations


Deborah Harrison

6:30 pm

Pacific Time



1111 3rd Ave, Seattle WA

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Conversations generate extraordinary power. Our words can harm or heal, obfuscate or enlighten, generate confusion or clarity. They can make our day or ruin our mood. So what happens when one side of the conversation comes from a machine? How do we teach our machines to connect, to quip, to clarify, to lighten the mood?

Designing responsible conversations is indeed a challenging prospect, but it can absolutely be done. In this session, we'll consider why conversations matter and the duty of care that we assume when we engage people in an inherently emotional activity: talking with them.

We'll explore the powerful emotional components of human communication, and what the research tells us about how we connect with our devices. Finally, we'll look at some conversational examples and consider the ethics of different approaches to authoring.

About the speaker(s)

Deborah Harrison

Deborah Harrison is one of the original architects of the personality for Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana. She brings an inclusive approach to conversational design and helps teach deep neural networks to manifest distinct personalities. Her work explores an ethical approach to crafting interactive experiences.

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