West Coast / Silicon Valley Chapter

The goal of local AVIOS chapters is to provide opportunity for people with interest in speech technology to meet, network, and stay abreast of new developments in the area, by holding quarterly or semi-annual meetings.


Our local chapter plan is to get together at different sites, to meet, mingle, and network with other speech technology professionals in our area. Admission to chapter meetings is free.

2020 Events


16 January 2020 | at Oracle Corporate Headquarters, Redwood Shores

Data and the stories it tells: How to improve complex conversational experiences


Ben Reaves, our first speaker will talk about the complex world of mental health and how machine learning was to help daignosis. His talk will be titled, 'Detection of Clinical Depression by Machine Learning - Lessons Learned'.
Joseph Tyler, our second speaker of the day leads the conversational design team at Sense.ly and will present on the topic of personalization of experiences in the health care industry.
Richard Miller, our third speaker of the day will present on what techniques of analysis are used by a team that delivers enterprise grade conversational experiences at Oracle. His talk is titled, Analytics and the kitchen sink - Comparing and contrasting various analysis techniques for care and feeding of conversational assistants

2018 Events

5 April 2018 | at IBM Research - Almaden


Cathy Pearl, author of the O’Reilly book Designing Voice User Interfaces

Talk Title: If I'm talking to my computer, does that mean it's not a "natural" conversation?" 

Bob Moore, Research Scientist, IBM Research-Almaden​

Talk Title: Understanding Natural Conversation

Chen Levkovich, Founder & CEO @ Conversation.one

Talk Title: Building Conversational Solutions that Don’t Drive Us(ers) Crazy…"

18 January 2018 | at Orange, San Francisco


Dennis Yang, Chief product Officer, Dashbot

Dennis Yang is co-founder and CPO of Dashbot, an analytics platform for bots. Prior to Dashbot, he co-founded Bureau of Trade, a vintage marketplace (acquired by eBay), co-founded Techdirt, the popular technology blog, and was the ninth employee of both Infochimps (acquired by CSC) and mySimon (acquired by CNET). He earned his engineering degree from Cornell University and lives in San Francisco with his wife Tricia, son Jax, and dog Bear, who introduced them. You can follow him on Twitter at @sinned. 


Karthik Raghunathan is a Senior Technical Leader in the Cognitive Collaboration Group at Cisco. Karthik used to be the Director of Research at MindMeld, a leading AI company that powered conversational interfaces for some of the world’s largest retailers, media companies, government agencies and automotive manufacturers. MindMeld was acquired by Cisco in May 2017. Karthik has more than 10 years of combined experience working at reputed academic and industrial research labs on the problems of speech, natural language processing, and information retrieval. Prior to joining MindMeld, he was a Senior Scientist in the Microsoft AI & Research Group, where he worked on conversational user interfaces for the Cortana digital assistant and the Xbox One.


Seamus McAteer, General Manager, Revenue & Partnerships, heads up commercial activity at AISense which is building technology to transform recorded voice conversations into usable data. Seamus was co-founder and CEO at Datasnap.io which was acquired by Neustar, where Seamus was VP New Ventures. Metaresolver a mobile ad platform that Seamus founded and led as CEO was acquired by Millennial Media, where Seamus was SVP of Analytics and Insight. MMetrics, a company Seamus co-founded and led was acquired by Comscore.  As an independent board member he helped with the sale of Motally to Nokia, Zokem to Arbitron, and he was a member of the executive team at Majestic Research when it was acquired by ITG.


David Wiener runs Product at Voicera. Previously, he was Vice President at Oracle, overseeing global product for the Oracle Data Cloud. At Oracle he was responsible for pulling together the acquisitions of BlueKai, Datalogix, AddThis, and Crosswise. Prior to Oracle, David oversaw Product at BlueKai. David makes sure business is in check, that products ship, and the engineering keeps their house in order

2017 Events


30 May 2017 | at Oracle, Redwood Shores


Richard Miller, UX Architect, Oracle

Taking a Vertical Approach to YAVA (Yet another Virtual Assistant): Introducing Oracle Virtual Assistant

Oren Ariel, ​CTO & Co-Founder, Capriza​

​Workbots - The Next Productivity Step Function?

Tao Liang, Director of Machine Learning, Digital Cockpit, NIO 

Voice in Cars: Challenges, Opportunities, & Convergence

About Richard Miller:

Richard has over 20 years of software design, development, usability, and systems engineering experience. He has lectured on usability, design practices, and Internet security; developed and led software training courses; and taught workshops on user interface design, multimedia, and usability. He currently leads the user experience team for Oracle’s Engagement Cloud, focused on service, support, chat, telephony integration, and real-time channel management for businesses with service, support and call-center needs. He has a Masters and PhD in Engineering from Virginia Tech, a MBA from the Pamplin School of Business, and is spending his cycles on creating a virtual assistant ecosystem which can be managed by businesses without the support of linguists or consultants

About Oren Ariel:

Before founding Capriza, Oren served as VP of Innovation & Design at HP Software, as General Manager of HP Labs Israel and has enjoyed a decade long career as CTO at Mercury Interactive. He has extensive startup experience: NARUS (acquired by Boeing), VDOnet (Citrix), Ubique (AOL) and Optibase (VITEC). Oren is a co-author of several Internet and software application related patents. He received his Engineering degree from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.

About Tao Liang:

Tao has over 20 years of hands-on experience building products, teams, and companies from the ground up. Tao has served in the roles of scientist, engineer, architect, and senior management in early start-ups as well as large enterprises such as Microsoft, Cisco, Roche, and Xerox.  As a technology generalist, Tao has hands-on experience and a keen interest in artificial intelligence.  Tao received his Masters in and PhD Engineering from Stanford University.

2016 Events

13 September 2016 | at GE Digital, San Ramon


Sundar Murugappan, Lead Scientist at GE Global Research

Bett Bollhoefer, Product Manager Predix

JOsH Lindsay, Lead Design Technologist in Research @ GE Digital

Talk title: Intersection of Art and Technology

Sue Reager, President, Translate your World

Talk title: Web Real-Time Communication and Language Technologies - Changes to the Mobile Community

About Sundar Murugappan:

Dr. Sundar Murugappan is currently a Lead Scientist in the Intelligent Industrial Experiences Labs at GE Global Research, California, USA. Prior to joining GE, he received his doctorate (PhD) in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, Indiana. His primary areas of interest include Natural User Interfaces, Human Computer Interaction and Augmented Reality.


About Bett Bollhoefer:

Bett has worked in the IT and development space since 1999. She is a Distinguished Toastmaster, former President of Distinguished Division Governor in Toastmasters, and winner of the Division Governor of the Year award. Before joining GE, she first worked as a developer, then as a Solutions Architect at Verizon. Today, Bett is an Architect at GE Digital focused on Predix Platform Architecture. To round out her technical expertise, Bett speaks and writes on software design and is the author of several books including Zen of Software Development, You Can Be a Software Architect and the sci-fi novel Engineer Your Perfect Child. Bett cohosted the popular Software Architecture Concepts podcast for two years. And for fun, Bett is a professional Improv actor, enjoys swing dancing, painting and playing the cello.


About Josh Lindsay:

I have worked with and for many notable technology & creative firms as both an Artist & Technologist, such as Lucas Film, Electronic Arts, Capcom, General Electric Global Research, Yahoo @ Yammer. Projects include, "The Godfather" for the xbox, Starwars.com for Lucas Animation, along with CG work for ILM Industrial Light & Magic, Residential Evil 4 for Capcom, and a whole lot of Big data & Video projects for Google, Yahoo, & Videoegg.  I also run my own video platform crazyreds.com.


About Sue Reager:

Sue Reager is an industry expert in speech translation for multimedia and technology, columnist for Speech Technology Magazine and Examiner.com, and an industry expert on code localization for audio products, software, and telecom. Her inventions are licensed by Cisco Systems and Intel, and used in telecom applications for Cox Communications, Telecom Italia, Vodaphone, Qatar Tel, Turner Broadcasting, Orange Mobile, Telia Sonera, and others.  Her latest venture is TranslateYourWorld.com

Presentation Abstract:

The combination of WebRTC (Real-Time Communication) with the advances in language technologies enables companies to sell worldwide at 95% reduction in marketing cost.  Developers will find themselves flooded with submissions from around the world.  Mobile phone applications will swell from 2 people per session to 2,000.  Entrepreneurs and SMEs will serve customers and offer tech support in dozens of languages.  And an explosion in video streaming will reach 3 billion viewers with automatic video translation.  The new opportunities that these two technologies will offer developers have been widely under-reported.


21 June 2016 | at Ford Research and Innovation Center, Palo Alto


Gerald Friedland, Ph.D. – Director of Audio and Multimedia Research, ICSI; Co-Founder/CTO, Audeme

Title of talk: Embedding Speech Dialog without the Cloud


Ian Lane, Ph.D. – Co-Founder & CEO, Capio; Research Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University

Title of talk: Speech and Vision Processing for Immersive Human Computer Interaction in Vehicles


AIDAS, is an Intelligent Driver Assistive System developed at Carnegie Mellon University that enables Immersive Interaction within vehicles. The AIDAS platform enables rich, speech-centric interaction with the driver incorporating speech and gesture recognition, gaze tracking, dialog modeling and situated spoken language understanding. Interactions are both context-aware, and are natural, akin to interacting with a human assistant. In this talk Ian will introduce the core speech and vision technologies used within AIDAS and describe the work at Capio, the CMU spinout that is bringing this technology to market to realize real-time interaction on embedded platforms.

Ian Lane is an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He leads the speech and language-processing group at CMU Silicon Valley and performs research in the areas of speech recognition, spoken language understanding and situated dialogue. Ian is also a co-founder of Capio, a CMU spinout that is focused on bringing this technology to market.

15 March 2016 | at Google, Mountain View


Roberto Pieraccini, Ph.D. – Head of Advanced Conversational Technologies, Jibo 

Korbinian Riedhammer, Ph.D. – Co-founder, Remeeting


Roberto Pieraccini: The Challenges of a Conversational Robot
Jibo (http://www.jibo.com) is the first consumer social robot. Jibo can talk, understand speech, recognize and track faces, and behave like an animated character. In this talk I will discuss some of the challenges faced in the design and realization of a sophisticated device like Jibo.


Korbinian Riedhammer: Engineering searchable conversations
At Remeeting, we’re working on making conversations searchable: Record on your smartphone (or teleconference software), store it in the cloud, and get a visual index that shows who spoke, what they said, and a high level summary in form of keywords. Search the audio, add notes, or share with others to centralize your follow-up work. I’ll try to keep the talk hands-on and entertaining, to set the stage for some fruitful discussion!

Contact the Silicon Valley Chapter

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