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Alexa, who will I hear from at VOICE?

VOICE is coming soon to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). On July 24-26 downtown Newark will be humming as 1500+ professionals at the forefront of natural language processing connect and share. Hopefully, you've already registered and taken advantage of our FIRST500 discount code that gives you an all-access pass for only $100.

You know you're in for three awesome days of in-depth workshops, keynotes, interviews and networking as you explore the state of the market for natural language, conversational design and AI. You may also look forward to learning about what the nation’s leading brands are doing, and access a few of Amazon’s most talented tech leaders for hands-on sessions and guidance. But most of all, you're probably curious about who you can expect to hear from at this inaugural event. With 75-100 presenters/facilitators expected, here’s just a sample:


What’s the future of voice?

Our keynote speaker, David Isbitski, Chief Evangelist, Alexa and Echo, has made a career out of helping people succeed with the latest technology. He has supported the launch of numerous technology platforms, frameworks and programming languages across an array of devices at both Microsoft and Amazon. David has delivered keynotes at major conferences around the world, but is particularly excited to be returning to his roots at NJIT, where he graduated Cum Laude from the Honors Program with a B.A. in Information Systems. Can’t wait to hear David speak on the future of voice? Check out Alexa Dev Chat by David Isbitski on Apple Podcasts.


Ready to meet a spoken language processing pioneer?

Dr. Chiori Hori, a Natural Language Researcher for Mitsubishi Research Labs, has worked on spoken language processing technologies since 1998. Since earning her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Chiori has conducted research on neural-network-based technologies for Human-Robot communication, explored spoken interactive Q&A using real-time Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), invented a Weighted-Finite-State-Transducer-based cross-lingual dialog technology, which was implemented on a humanoid robot, and much more. Yup, she’s a ringer. Probably best known in competitive circles for leading NICT’s ASR research group and their system to first place for three consecutive years in the English TED talk recognition at the prestigious annual International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT). What does a powerhouse like Chiori speak about? Anything she wants.


What does it take to win $125K for supporting people living with diabetes?

You’ll hear from Anne Weiler, CEO and co-founder of Wellpepper, the team behind Sugarpod, winner of the 2017 Alexa Diabetes Challenge, sponsored by Merck & Co. The concept for a multimodal diabetes care plan solution uses voice interactions to provide tailored tasks to support patients day to day.


Our speaker list is on fire... 🔥

We're excited to announce even more speakers who have joined our lineup. Meet some of them below, and we'll continue updating this post as other speakers are announced.


Apoorva Bapat - PocketChange

Head of Natural Language Processing, PocketChange

PocketChange is a patent-pending button that sits on Facebook to facilitate instant micro-donations to philanthropic causes. The student-created venture uses artificial intelligence and NLP to recognize content and assign a cause to that content to inspire donations to relevant PocketChange-approved organizations. 



Terena Bell is a New York-based independent journalist who writes often on tech/AI/business, health, language/translation and Kentucky, where she was raised. From 2012 to 2015 she wrote a monthly column for MultiLingual Magazine on how societal macro trends impact the translation and localization industry.

Ahmed Bouzid - Witlingo

CEO and co-founder, Witlingo

Formerly, Head of Product with Amazon’s Alexa/Echo Group, Ahmed leads the growing Witlingo team that enables organizations to deliver high-value conversational experiences for Voice-First platforms. The author/co-author of Don't Make Me Tap: A Common Sense Approach to Voice Usability and The Elements of VUI Style has over 15 years of experience in the fields of Speech Automation and Natural Language Processing and writes extensively on Voice Automation and Voice User Interface design.



Researcher, Neural Network Security


Nicholas Carlini is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studies the intersection of computer security and machine learning. His most recent line of work studies the security of neural networks, for which he received the distinguished student paper award at IEEE S&P 2017.

nikhil_deshpande_State of GA

Chief Digital Officer, State of Georgia

Nikhil leads the Office of Digital Services Georgia under the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA). Under his direction, Georgia became the first state in the nation to use Drupal across its enterprise and meet special needs of constituents with a range of disabilities affecting vision, hearing, motion and cognition making the platform Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 AA compliant.


CEO and co-founder, Voxable

At Voxable, an agency that designs and develops conversational and voice interfaces, Lauren applies her design and UX expertise along with a deep knowledge of conversational technology to build intuitive conversational interfaces. She regularly speaks at conferences and community events and contributes to open source technology.

Leor Grebler - United Computer Intel Corp

CEO and co-founder, United Computer Intelligence Corporation

Leor drives his Toronto-based company towards its goal of making interaction with technology seamless and natural. He's helped to bring new hardware to market and built partnerships with leading companies in AI, speech recognition, home automation and Internet of Things. 

Shwen Gwee - Novartis


Member, MIT Hacking Medicine

Shwen is a recognized pioneer in digital health and social pharma, named a Top 40 “Healthcare Transformer” by MM&M in 2015, and a MM&M and PR Week Health Influencer 50 in 2017. He brings over a decade of experience leading commercial/brand digital strategy and driving innovation across both client-side biopharma organizations and at leading advertising agencies.


Will Hall - Rain

Chief Creative Officer, RAIN

Will leads combined teams of strategists, engineers, and designers at RAIN, a digital consultancy that combines data, technology, and creativity to drive business growth for clients. He serves on multiple advisory boards on Voice and emerging technology, and has spent the past 14 years working at agencies with key clients like Amazon, Adobe, Facebook, Sony, Adult Swim, Puma and others.


Shane Mac - Assist

CEO & co-founder, Assist

Assist, the chatbot platform for messaging and voice, powers automation for brands such as Sephora, Fandango, Lonely Planet, Hyatt, 1-800-Flowers and more. Shane has been an investor, advisor, and board member to startups in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 7 years and got into tech and startups through his music gigs with well-known DJ, wait what.

Rob McCauley

Alexa Evangelist

A software engineer and Alexa Solutions Architect, Robert helps to organize and run Hackathons for the Amazon Alexa developer community and supports developers learning the Alexa Skills Kit to build new, voice-enabled applications.


Jeff Nelson - Blavity

Founder/CTO & CEO, Blavity/Cinchapi

Cinchapi is an intelligent data platform out of TechSquare Labs that provides real-time analytics and machine learning to help businesses gain insights faster to drive dynamic outcomes. Also as co-founder and CTO of media site, Blavity, Jeff curates perspectives on black experience.


Jan Neumann - Comcast

Director, Technical R&D

Jan leads Comcast’s Applied Artificial Intelligence Research Group, which combines large-scale machine learning, deep learning, NLP, and computer vision to develop novel algorithms and product concepts that improve the experience of Comcast’s customers such as the voice interfaces, virtual assistants, and video and IoT analytics. He has published over 20 papers in scientific conferences and journals and is a frequent speaker on machine learning and data science.


Justina Nguyen- Dashbot

Developer Evangelist, Dashbot

Dashbot is a bot analytics platform for conversational interfaces, such as Alexa. Justina fosters relationships with developers to understand their pain points and help them integrate advanced conversational analytics into their projects.


Juliana Pereira - Smartling

VP Marketing, Smartling

Smartling provides global businesses with powerful tools to translate their content and products to win in the global market. With 15 years of experience in marketing and ecommerce, Juliana joined the Smartling team in 2015 after holding the role of Senior Director, Wholesale Online Strategy & Marketing at Ralph Lauren.



Deputy CIO & Business Intelligence Strategist, Arizona State University

An experienced IT leader, educator, consultant and technologist, John has taught and held various leadership positions over the past 15 years at Arizona State University.


DJ Saul - Istrategy

CEO, ISL (iStrategy Labs)

DJ advises brands and early-stage ventures on everything from digital to experiential marketing strategy, to branding and partnership development for this 2x Ad Age Small Agency of the Year. He speaks regularly on emerging technology’s impact on the marketing landscape, building meaningful relationships, brand strategy, and entrepreneurship.


Preston So - Acquia

Director, Research & Innovation, Acquia

Preston leads Acquia Labs and new open-source and research initiatives for Acquia, a venture-backed technology company created by the founder and project lead of Drupal. Acquia’s platform helps many large organizations build and operate their digital experiences using Drupal.



Akersh Srivastava

Alexa Evangelist

Based in Seattle at Amazon’s headquarters, Akersh spreads the word about the wonders of voice. Previously, he served as Manager, Advanced Technology and Architecture for Accenture in Los Angeles, and honed his skills as a technology researcher, web architect, and developer.


Spencer Uttley - Intuit

Senior Product Manager, Intuit

Spencer leads an innovation team at Intuit, the Mountain View, California-based business and financial software company that develops and sells financial, accounting, and tax preparation software and related services. A winner of the Alan C. Filey Mutual Outstanding Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Student Award, Spencer leverages machine learning to drastically improve the speed, usability and power of Quickbooks.



VP, Product & UX, A&E Networks

As a creative product leader at A&E Networks, Noah manages a team of product managers and UX designers who develop mobile apps, Web sites, subscription video products, mobile games and other digital experiences. He's a big fan of user-centered, iterative, and data-driven product approaches.


JackWelde - Smartling

CEO & co-founder, Smartling

Jack is a technology early-adopter, serial entrepreneur, software patent-holder, product evangelist and combat-decorated Air Force pilot. Before founding Smartling, he served as SVP of Product at eMusic, COO/CTO at SheSpeaks and RunTime Technologies, and co-founder of Trio Development, a software company that created the first personal information manager, which was acquired by Apple in 1993.


Navya Yelloji - Witlingo

Technical Product Manager, Witlingo

Navya has overseen the deployment of several of the enterprise skills Witlingo has deployed to enable organizations to deliver high-value conversational experiences for Voice-First platforms, including the Motley Fool, Meetup, Fish & Richardson and Cooley LLP. Previously, Navya was a founding member of 301 Ventures and Fund Associate at New Markets Venture Partners.


tien wong - Opus8

Chairman & CEO, Opus8

Opus8, Inc., is a private investment, strategic advisory and conference management firm based in the Washington, DC area. Opus8 provides strategy and fundraising advice to technology companies and investors and invests in BPO, ITO, call center, CRM, mobility and datacenter/cloud technologies and services.


Cami Williams - Amazon

Senior Alexa Evangelist, Amazon

As a developer evangelist, Cami has participated in meetups and events, most notably the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing, the White House Tech Inclusion Summit, SXSWedu, ATECH Conference and Google Women Engineers Conference.

She previously worked for Google as a Back-End Engineer on Google Classroom and Google Slides and Clarifai as an API Engineer and Developer Evangelist in NYC.


JZ - Capital One

Product Manager, Capital One

After living in San Francisco and working in UX in NYC, Jenny (known as JZ) now works in the Washington, DC, area as a Product Manager at Capital One. Her favorite skill is paper prototyping and she is passionate about involving designers/ developers/analysts early in the product planning process. 




Natural Language Processing, Voice Technology, VOICE18, Voice Assistant