AN O’REILLY SUMMIT
November 12–13, 2015  •  San Francisco, CA

The future of personal assistants

Adam Cheyer (Viv), Alexandre Lebrun (Facebook)
9:45am–10:05am Thursday, 11/12/2015
Location: grand ballroom Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.67, 3 ratings)

Adam Cheyer, original creator of Siri, Apple’s revolutionary personal assistant, is working on a new agent-based startup. Meanwhile, Alex Lebrun, whose work on Wit.ai became the basis of Facebook’s new M personal agent, is building a personal assistant based on both technology and human intervention. We learn about these products and where they will go. If the vision of the movie Her is to come to life, quite probably one of the inventors is on our stage.

Photo of Adam Cheyer

Adam Cheyer

Viv

Quotes from Adam

We originally talked to computers in their language exclusively. Increasingly, we talk to them in ours.

Soon, developers will create new programs in collaboration with an artificial intelligence that does much of the heavy lifting. This shift represents the biggest leap forward in productivity and scalability yet.

The way humans program machines is changing too. Humans are no longer the only ones writing code.

Solving is the focus of the next interface battlefield which will be fought across web, mobile, and a wide internet of things.

We are seeing a fundamental shift in the way in which computers are programmed in the first place.

As new capabilities are built and integrated by developers, a relatively small, finite pool of function can explode into a huge, practically limitless number of possibilities.

We are about to witness the greatest leap in productivity in building and deploying software that we have ever seen.

Biography

Adam is co-founder and VP of Engineering at Viv. Previously he was co-founder and VP of Engineering at Siri. He’s also served as Program Director in SRI’s Artificial Intelligence Center, and Chief Architect of the CALO/PAL project.

A pioneer in the areas of distributed computing, intelligent agents, and advanced user interfaces, Adam is the author of more than fifty peer-reviewed publications and nine patents. He also is currently a co-founder and advisor to both Sentient Technologies and Change.org.

Photo of Alexandre Lebrun

Alexandre Lebrun

Facebook

Quotes from Alex

Language is maybe the hardest task in AI because it’s very nuanced. Words are mere references to your experience as a human. It’s very hard for a computer to understand what they mean.

Just as the keyboard, and then the mouse changed how we used computers decades ago, natural language interfaces will impact how we use technology moving forward.

I see myself as an expert in AI, by Niels Bohr’s definition: “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.”

Biography

Alex Lebrun is the head of Wit.ai at Facebook. Wit.ai is an AI platform that makes it easy for developers to create applications that understand human language. Before founding Wit.ai, Alex was the founder and CEO of VirtuOz, “Siri for the Enterprise” virtual agents, acquired by Nuance Communications in 2013. Alex received a MS in Computer Science from Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France, and spent many years learning Chinese language and culture.

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