Brown Bags!



Hello Everyone,

Brown Bags are back and we have several lined up.  We hope you can join us!


Tue, October 09, 2018  12:00 AM – 1:00 PM CDT

Modeling Conversation for Chatbots with Mike McTear

The major intelligent agent platforms have converged on terminology involving intent identification and entity extraction, yet use different conversational models to describe behavior. Learn how these conversational models differ and which go beyond hard-coded conversation flows of “happy path” dialogues to model conversational phenomena such as follow-up questions, changes of topic, out-of-scope utterances, and other types of edge case. What are the desiderata for intelligent conversational agents?

Here’s the Eventbrite Link:




Past Events:

Tue, June 5, 2018 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT

Integrating Speech with Intelligent Services with Dr. Deborah Dahl

We are currently experiencing an explosion of sophisticated, cloud-based intelligent services. There are several well-known speech and natural language services, but other cognitive technologies are fast becoming available as cloud services. These include face recognition, emotion recognition, translation, and gesture recognition. This talk describes the available services, discusses how to integrate them with speech technologies, and reviews a number of ideas for new applications based on the combination of speech with other intelligent services.

Here’s the Eventbrite Link:


Tue, July 10, 2018 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT

Redefining the Role of the IVR (Is It Time To Toss Yours Out?) with David Attwater

We look at how digital transformation is affecting call centers and how speech technology is helping to meet the new needs that are emerging. We cover key issues such as the following: Who still calls enterprises and why? Is self-service in the IVR going away and if not, why not? Why are greater and greater demands being placed on natural language in the IVR?

Here’s the Eventbrite Link:


Tue, August 7, 2018 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT

What Makes a Customer Experience Designer? with Kristie Flenord

Finding the perfect fit for an open position is not always easy. We touch on suggested educational backgrounds, as well as sample job positions to help employers and interviewees alike fill a customer experience designer position. This is an interactive session where feedback from the audience is welcome, so come prepared to participate!

Here’s the Eventbrite Link:

Tue, September 11, 2018  11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT


Multidimensional Localization: Talking, Texting, & Chatting in China with Martha Senturia

The potential for accidental blunders skyrockets with the advent of new modes of customer interaction and the globalization of corporate-customer conversations. It’s not enough to speak the target language and translate; it’s essential to understand the cultural trends, the technological conditions, the channel-specific conversational conventions, and more in the user’s region. We review challenges with designing customer interactions in Mainland China ranging from telecom expenses, character limitations, keyboard logistics, emojis and text shorthands to visual design and efficiency.

Here’s the Eventbrite Link:



AVIxD Open Roundtable Series

The AVIxD Open Roundtable Series is an unscripted virtual forum for voice interaction design practitioners to get together and discuss topics of relevance to voice interaction design, such a best practices and industry trends.  Since voice interaction design is a rapidly changing field and voice designers may be the only one of their kind in their organization, the Open Roundtable offers a unique forum for designers to meet up and discuss current topics, as chosen by a subject matter expert panel.  Each Round Table will consist of  45 minutes discussion of the chosen topic, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. 

June – VUI Design Tools and Design Deliverables
July – User Research Tools – card sorts, walk throughs, tree sorts
August – Hiring / Training discussion  (follow up of the brown bag)
September – Better Usability Reports
October – Tuning:  Convincing Clients it is Excellent
November – Adjusting the Output of Text to Speech Voices

To register for any of the AVIxD Open Roundtable series, go to our EventBrite page at:
There is no fee for attending but please support AVIxD by joining us today!  Visit to find out more.

AVIxD Virtual Membership Summit

AVIxD Virtual Membership Summit Friday, May 4, 2018 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (CDT)

All interested AVIxD members are invited to this open forum meeting to discuss growing the organization, how people can get involved, and the projects that we are doing now, as well as future projects!

We need YOU!  Looking for more involved people at all levels. Many hands make light work!


-Increasing AVIxD membership – growing the pipeline from “occasional member” to “involved member” to “board.”


  • Current projects
  • Possibilities for new projects

-Name and branding:  “Conversational”?

-Open forum for discussion – other topics


RSVP to in EventBrite get the link to the Zoom meeting.

Here’s the link:

Notes from the AVIxD Annual Member Meeting 2018!

Another great meeting in the history books.  Here are the notes. 

Please contact us at if you have any questions or you would like to join us for some of the upcoming efforts.


AVIxD Annual Meeting

April 4, 2018 – SpeechTEK


Note: See presentation on SlideShare at:

  • We need YOU!  Looking for more involved people at all levels
    • Many hands make light work!
  • Next Meeting: AVIxD Virtual Membership Summit – May 4th, 2018, Noon Central time.
    • Topics:
      • Increasing AVIxD membership – growing the pipeline from “occasional member” to “involved member” to “board.”
      • Projects
      • Open forum for discussion


Challenge from Jim Larson: He would like to see AVIxD do something on:

  • Guidelines for designing for Multi-Modal, i.e. Alexa Show and similar devices
  • Job description for VUI designers.
    • We already have something of a start on that with the presentation today at 4:30 pm: AVIxD presents: What Makes a Customer Experience Designer


Group discussion:  Difficulty of hiring designers

  • Some designers have “pompous” or difficult attitude
  • People with pure usability background may be more humble
  • Is knowledge of a specific tool a job requirement?  Probably not
  • What about people coming from a computational linguistics / NL background?  Could be a good fit
  • What about outreach to STC (Society for Technical Communication) chapters?  This could be a good source of memberships / interested people


Discussion about Tools

  • Convergys has Pathmaker tool which is open sourced
  • Other people are still using a variety of tools


Virtual meetings

  • Group seemed very open to the idea of having virtual members meetings which would be like Brown Bags but instead of having a speaker we would have a variety of topics like a round table.
  • Since so many of us are the only ones in our organization it is important to get that sharing.


Outreach to Chatbot companies

  • Bot part works well, how to also use them to support IVR?


Idea for AVIxD website – Collect links to VUI educational resources other places on the web – Need a bit of a web refresh


Discussion topic – “Voice” vs. “Conversational” Design


Outreach to universities

  • Promoting student memberships at places with computational linguistics programs such as UCSD, Berkley
  • International universities

Annual Members Meeting at SpeechTEK!

Mark your calendars! The Association for Voice Interaction Design will once again hold its 2018 annual members meeting. This is your opportunity to find out how you can get involved! What do YOU want in a professional organization? Do you have an idea for a committee or a project? Would you like to present at a brown bag or give us a paper? We need your voice in the conversation!

If you’re coming to SpeechTEK in-person, check us out – we’re on the schedule in SD 204

Or, you can attend virtually! This year we’ll be streaming live with Periscope again. Download the app on your cell phone now from the App Store or Google Play to get ready, and follow us on Twitter @avixd.

The AVIxD organization seeks to connect folks in the voice interaction design industry. Our goal is to provide a forum for this community to find and share professional resources, while promoting awareness of the VUI field and advocating for good design practices. Not a member yet? No problem. Visit ahead of time to join – or just show up to learn more.

Spread the word! #SpeechTEK2018 @avixd

Here’s the EventBrite Link: