Tag Archives: @dialogconnectio

TEDxSalford (28 Jan 2012): 10 hours of mind-blowing inspiration

18 Mar

2012 can already be dubbed the TEDx year for me, as it’s only mid-March and I have already attended and even contributed to two TEDx events! First up was TEDxSalford in late January and 2 weeks later it was TEDxManchester!

TEDxSalford took place on a very sunny Saturday (28th January) at the futuristic Lowry building in Media City, Salford.

I was tweeting for most of the event  (or when my phone battery was not dead!) and I have compiled below a list of all my relevant tweets and retweets both from the day and in the build-up to the event. I am going to add later on some notes I took while I couldn’t tweet! Hopefully the tweets convey the spirit of  TEDxSalford, which can be summarised as follows: @TEDxSalford was mindblowing! So much intellect, so much empathy, so much emotion, all rolled into one .

TEDxSalford Logo

The Tweets

@ar3toul4ki

Jeremy Rifkin: Primitive man’s mind: food, shelter, sex / Modern man’s mind: beer, coffee, apps ! @TEDxSalford http://www.ted.com/talks/jeremy_rifkin_on_the_empathic_civilization.html
30 Jan

@ar3toul4ki

Amy Purdy: If you were writing a book about your life, how would you like it to go? TEDTalk 3 @TEDxSalford #TEDxSalford http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_purdy_living_beyond_limits.html
In reply to TEDxSalford
30 Jan

@ar3toul4ki

@herbkim @TEDxSalford was mindblowing! So much intellect, so much empathy, so much emotion, all rolled into one. A blog post is in order!
In reply to Herb Kim
30 Jan
@ar3toul4ki 

Hello! Great to see you @TEDxSalford ! I’m still buzzing! RT @astrondrew: @ar3toul4ki hello fellow skeptic and tedx person.
28 Jan
TEDxSalford ‏ @TEDxSalford 

The Key A CALL TO ACTION #Tedxsalford
Retweeted by  @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan
Unity Node ‏ @UnityNode

“WE are the story here… the collaboration itself, not the technology – the people who affect real change.” -@astro_ron #tedxsalford
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan
Unity Node ‏ @UnityNode

“Nothing is impossible.” -@astro_ron #tedxsalford
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan
Charlie Buckwell ‏ @charliebuck123

Ron Garan – awe inspiring film of lapping earth, sunrise, moonrise, aurora borealis – #TEDxSalford
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan

Unity Node ‏ @UnityNode

“The question is what kind of world do you want?” – @Astro_Ron #tedxsalford http://www.flickr.com/photos/fragileoasis/5585060181/
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan
Gemma Cameron ‏ @ruby_gem

Oh. My. Eyes!!! I just saw an aurora FROM SPACE! S P A C E #TEDxSalford
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan
Ben Davies ‏ @_bendavies

Just met an astronaut! He saw 16 sunrises a day. More importantly, introducing the orbital perspective – http://unitynode.org/ #Tedxsalford
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki

@Astro_Ron: people think of something as impossible, just cos it has never been done before. Nothing is impossible! #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki

@Astro_Ron: man-made borders distract from the fact that we’re all in this together #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki

@Astro_Ron: i came back to earth with a commitment to refuse to accept the status quo #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki

@Astro_Ron: you don’t have to be in orbit to have a global perspective #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki

Can’t believe I just saw @Astro_Ron speak @TEDxSalford. I’ve been following his tweets from space and later on Earth for ages! #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki

Trevor Cox: creating spontaneous bass wobble down the Manchester canal! #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki

Trevor Cox: the Beecham Tower hum revisited #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki

Trevor Cox: how to create bass wobble by clapping your hands in-between S-shaped walls (Mmm gives me some ideas) : D #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

TEDxSalford ‏ @TEDxSalford

Dr. Umut Kose explaining to the audience what neutrinos are #heavyparticlephysics #TEDxSalford #Manchester
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki

Umut Kose: each of us produces 340 million neutrinos per day that reach the farthest corners of the universe #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

Gemma Cameron ‏ @ruby_gem

“Do you remember your first time with the Internet?” #TEDxSalford
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan
TEDxSalford ‏ @TEDxSalford

Tom Hingley talking about the Death of Copyright at #TEDxSalford. Watch the live stream now! #TEDx #TED #Manchester
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki

Tom Hingley: a bleak future where augmented reality rearranges shop shelves to show you what you OUGHT to want to buy #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets): old bands prob reform in order to make money to buy their sound recordings off the record labels#TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets): that’s what record labels are now – content businesses #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets): we’ve moved away from BC and AD to BEFORE INTERNET and AFTER INTERNET #TEDxSalford

28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets): the current copyright laws are useless #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

TEDxSalford Programme

@ar3toul4ki 

Anne Lise Kjaer: good moms have sticky floors, dirty ovens but happy kids : ) #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

TEDxSalford ‏ @TEDxSalford

Tomorrow’s World #Tedxsalford
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Anne Lise Kjaer: the triple P bottom line: people, planet and only then profit #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Anne Lise Kjaer: more inclusion with WE-conomics rather than ME-conomics #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Anne Lise Kjaer: our love affair with economic growth hasn’t brought us happiness #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Anne Lise Kjaer: the future is not some place we go to, we have to create it #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Anne Lise Kjaer: we are bombarded by contradictory messages, we have to be fast and efficient but also worry about our health #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

@Jordan_Zadeh ah shame. @TEDxSalford is awesome. Hope you still manage to enjoy yourself
In reply to Jordan Ahmadzadeh
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

@retsillac well being still alive is very convincing : p
In reply to @CnallA
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Benedict Allen: i nearly died 9 times but i didn’t, because of a) PREPARATION and b) BELIEF IN MYSELF #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Benedict Allen: my new indigenous friends were crying as i was leaving+said “the sad thing is no one will be around to bury you”#TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Benedict Allen: when you’re being shot at, you can’t really stop and ask them WHY #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Edward Stafford: I knew I had to keep my sense of humour to keep going, when i actually also knew IT WASN’T FUNNY! #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Edward Stafford: i was tweeting+blogging from the middle of the Amazon all the time. Knew Michael Jackson was dead within 2mins #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

Nathan Rae ‏ @nathanrae

I’m live streaming the #TEDxSalford event at http://www.tedxsalford.com/live  Great speeches so far so check it out!
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Irene Khan: The law of demand and supply applies to justice as well. DEMAND it and you ll get it (eventually) #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

Irene Khan: Violence against women is not a social problem, it’s a human rights problem #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

looking forward to tweeting the awesome speakers ‘ pearls of wisdom #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

RT @TEDxSalford: The official twitter hashtag = #TEDxSalford Less than 1 hour to go! #TEDx #TED #Manchester #mediacityuk #Salford
28 Jan

Ed Stafford ‏ @Ed_Stafford 

Speaking at @TEDxSalford at 10:50am. Its being live streamed over the Net at http://www.tedxsalford.com/live  Some great speakers: http://www.tedxsalford.com/event/speakers
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

@Jordan_Zadeh see you around. I’m @The_Lowry all day for @TEDxSalford : )
In reply to Jordan Ahmadzadeh
28 Jan

Gemma Hargreaves ‏ @GemmaHargreaves

Set up for @TEDxSalford at @The_Lowry – what a view! Say hi if you’re here 🙂 http://twitter.com/#!/GemmaHargreaves/status/163186229221924864/photo/1
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan

The Lowry - What a View!

sphey1 ‏ @sphey1

The sun is shining so well up for a day of enlightenment at @TEDxSalford today – exciting
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
28 Jan

@ar3toul4ki 

@cubicgarden Yes i should be tweeting furiously all day from @TEDxSalford tomorrow!
In reply to Ian Forrester
28 Jan

TEDxSalford ‏ @TEDxSalford

Dont miss out on an official NASA astronaut appearance in #Manchester this January only at #TEDxSalford. Register now: http://www.tedxsalford.com/event/registration
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki

17 Jan

TEDxSalford ‏ @TEDxSalford

Tickets still available for #TEDx #Salford – check out our speakers lineup: http://www.tedxsalford.com/event/speakers #Manchester #MediaCityUK
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki

15 Jan

TEDxSalford ‏ @TEDxSalford
27 Healthy Habits of Happiness http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/09/18/27-healthy-habits-of-happiness/
Retweeted by @ar3toul4ki
15 Jan

@ar3toul4ki
@jotbe danke danke! #TEDxSalford should be special!

11 Jan

@ar3toul4ki
I’m in! Just got my ticket confirmation! Can’t wait! RT @TEDxSalford: Registrations for #TEDx #Salford still open – http://www.tedxsalford.com/event/registration

11 Jan

@ar3toul4ki
That was close! RT @TEDxSalford: Tickets still available for #TEDxSalford http://tedxsalford.com/event/speakers Astronauts, Scientists, Explorers!

9 Jan

Advertisements

The UK on Hold (or Stuck in IVR Hell?)

16 Jan

Tonight Channel 4 is showing the programme: “Richard Wilson On Hold“, or as it would probably be dubbed “The UK stuck in IVR Hell“.

“From telephone car parking payment systems to supermarket self-service tills, Richard Wilson investigates the rise of automated services across Britain and puts the machines to the test”

Richard Wilson on Hold

Richard Wilson doesn’t like to be on Hold (Copyright Glowfrog Studios)

This will probably put my profession to shame (even if the programme is only about waiting queues), but they would have a point, as there are some horrid voice recognition self-service IVRs out there! Watch it tonight, Monday 16 January 2012, at 8-9pm GMT on Channel 4, and check my update on here once I’ve watched it myself.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9/86700592001?isVid=1&isUI=1&publisherID=1213940598

2011 in review – not bad again!

2 Jan

Happy New Year!

Well, 2011 wasn’t bad (see below), so expectations are high for 2012!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A speech recognition user interface works when it … disappears!

25 Oct

Today is a big day for me! I’m finally getting to meet in person one of the Coryphées of the VUI Design World (even though as far as I know he’s not a ballet dancer), Bruce Balentine of the Enterprise Integration Group (EIG).  Bruce is the author of one of the best books ever written on IVR / Speech applications / Voice User Interface Design, It’s Better to Be a Good Machine Than a Bad Person – Speech Recognition and Other Exotic User Interfaces at the Twilight of the Jetsonian Age.

Apart from the ingenuity of the title itself, encapsulating the golden rule of good user experience / usability design, you can readily see to what great lengths Bruce has gone to serve his pearls of design wisdom in a most humourous and utterly witty way. This doesn’t in any way decrease in the least the importance, relevance and truthfulness of his observations and recommendations. Bruce is a veteran designer and he has seen it all before, from the excitement and optimism to the disappointment and pessimism, to the final destination, design realism:

First we tried to make them human. Now it’s time to make them work 

To get a flavour of the type of UX design advice and messages conveyed in the book, here’s an extract from Chapter  132: Will Speech Technology Ever Work? (pp. 393-395 in my 2007 edition):

In closing, I must ask the question. Will it ever work? And, of course, the answer is, yes. Speech recognition—and its related technologies (e.g., speaker verification, text-to-speech, audio indexing, speech data mining, dictation) will work. Indeed they already do. They will fill their respective application niches almost completely. And, in fact, the majority will do so quite soon. What will change is the definition of “work”.

Speech recognition is primarily a user interface technology*. As such, it works when it disappears. It’s really that simple. When the users are not thinking about the user interface, but instead are accomplishing the task to which they are connected by the user interface, then and only then can the interface be said to be “working.” We have to stay on message with this fundamental fact if we are ever to succeed at bringing speech to the performance level where we can legitimately claim that it “works.”

True words!!! As a bonus,  Leslie Degler’s illustrations perfectly complement and enhance the messages conveyed in the text, once again in the wittiest and most original manner.  Buy this book ASAP! After all, if you don’t agree with its theses, you can always return it. All you need to do is:

Write out in longhand, on a separate page, “I,” and add your name, “agree that there’s not a chance in Hell any refund will ever come of this claim.” Label this statement as your “declaration.”  

After you have received your refund, we’ll call you with an outbound IVR that asks you several hundred thought-provoking questions about your customer experience. We value your opinion—please give us your most honest and spontaneous responses. We’ll do our best to recognize them

It says it all really! 🙂

To date, I have only met Bruce virtually, through Skype calls and the Creative Speech Technology Network (CreST) of which we are both members, and I can already tell he is a very funny, witty, creative (musical!),  interesting, as well as intelligent person. So I can’t wait to meet him in person later today and hear some more fascinating stories and hilarious anecdotes from the world of speech recognition application design, voice interface usability and technology abuse!

UPDATE:

I went (to the dinner with Bruce) and (was) conquered by the brilliance and witticism of the man! I got my long-awaited autograph in his book too, as I can now prove!

Human-Machine Interaction in Translation (NLPCS 2011)

21 Aug

For a few years now I have been in the Programme Committee of the International Workshop on Natural Language Processing and Cognitive Science (NLPCS), organised by a long-time colleague and friend, Dr. Bernadette Sharp from Staffordshire University. The aim of this annual workshop is “to bring together researchers and practitioners in Natural Language Processing (NLP) working within the paradigm of Cognitive Science (CS)“.

The overall emphasis of the workshop is on the contribution of cognitive science to language processing, including conceptualisation, representation, discourse processing, meaning construction, ontology building, and text mining.”

There have been NLPCS  Workshops in Porto (2004), Miami (2005), Paphos (2006), Funchal (2007), Barcelona (2008), Milan (2009) and Funchal (2010).

Copenhagen Business School

Copenhagen Business School

This year’s 8th International NLPCS Workshop just took place this weekend in Copenhagen, Denmark (20-21 Aug 2011). The Workshop topic was: “Human-Machine Interaction in Translation“, focussing on all aspects of human and machine translation, and human-computer interaction in translation, including:  translators’ experiences with CAT tools, human-machine interface design, evaluation of interactive machine translation, user simulation and human factors. Thus, the topics were approached from a number of different perspectives:

  • from full automation by machines for machine (traditional NLP or HLT)
  • semi-automated processing, i.e. machine-mediated processing (programs assisting people in their tasks),
  • but also simulation of human cognitive processes

I had the opportunity once again to review a few of the paper submissions and can therefore highly recommend reading the full Proceedings of the NLPCS 2011 Workshop that have just been made available.

I found particularly interesting the following 3 contributions:

  • Valitutti, A. “How Many Jokes are Really Funny? A New Approach to the Evaluation of Computational Humour Generators”
  • Nilsson, M. and J. Nivre. “Entropy-Driven Evaluation of Models of Eye Movement Control in Reading” 

and

  • Finch, A., Song, W., Tanaka-Ishii, K. and E. Sumita. “Source Language Generation from Pictures for Machine Translation on Mobile Devices”

Enjoy!

Speech Interaction on Mobile Devices at SpeechTEK 2011 (New York)

7 Aug

Today sees the launch of the Joint AVIxD / IxDA Workshop on Speech Interaction on Mobile Devices that kick-starts the mother of Voice Solutions Fairs, SpeechTEK 2011 in New York next week (8-10 Aug).

AVIxD

AVIxD is the Association for Voice Interaction Design, a professional organisation that aims to

“eliminate apathy and antipathy toward the need for good design of automated voice services”, 

which has become my favourite VUI mantra!

IxDA is the Interaction Design Association, a much bigger professional “un-organisation” which  intends to:

“improve the human condition by advancing the discipline of Interaction Design”

A very worthy cause indeed, especially since it is true that “the human condition is increasingly challenged by poor experiences. “!

IxDA

Today’s Joint Workshop in New York aims to bring together interaction design practitioners from across the voice, interactive, and digital areas to identify the issues and challenges involved in  speech interaction design on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and to come up by the end of the day with ways to approach them or even tackle them. A very ambitious format that, however, really does work!

AVIxD organised another Workshop this year on Cross-linguistic & Cross-cultural Voice Interaction Design, which was also the 1st European Workshop, just before SpeechTEK Europe in London this May past. See what we all came up with in those 6 hours in the SpeechTEK Europe PDF presentation below.

And if you don’t manage to take part in today’s workshop, make sure you go to the SpeechTEK Conference and Exhibition itself that starts tomorrow and runs until Wednesday the 10th. Listen to presentations and see or even try for yourself market-ready products relating to:

  • multimodal applications
  • cross-channel applications
  • speech analytics
  • speaker identification and verification
  • in-car systems
  • natural language and say-anything technologies
  • speech translation
  • voice-enabled personal assistants
  • as well as the latest speech recognition techniques and technologies

I particularly recommend the Keynote Panel on “Mobility — A Game-Changer for Speech?” on Tuesday on how smartphones are dramatically changing how customers interact with businesses and with the devices themselves. Some really interesting issues and questions will be raised, such as:

* How voice user interfaces will be integrated with graphical user interfaces?

or

* Will users embrace voice as they have embraced keypads on mobile devices? 

Sadly I am in the UK today and next week, so I’m going to miss it all. But if you are lucky enough to be in or near New York, make sure you go and enjoy!

SpeechTEK 2011 New York

What to do after a PhD? (University of Manchester Pathways 2011)

10 Jun

Today, Friday 10th June, I am taking part again in the University of Manchester’s PATHWAYS 2011 Career event for PhD students and Research Staff.

The event takes place over three days and is designed to support delegates in making career choices, exploring future plans and discovering the breadth of opportunities available to them.

Over the three days, Pathways comprises:

I am one of the 77 Panelists who will address questions such as:

  • At what point in your PhD did you / should you really begin to think about the next step in your career?
  • How did you decide on which careers to follow – what other careers did you consider or would you consider as a next step?
  • What other jobs do you know of which have been filled by PhD researchers?
  • How did you / should PhD researchers go about the process of looking for employment?
  • How did you / would you successfully market a PhD to potential employers?
  • How are PhD researchers perceived in the job market?
  • At interview what types of questions were you / could you be asked about your PhD?
  • What was your first job after your PhD?
  • How did you find that job?
  • Was that job what you expected? What was different?
  • Did you use the skills / knowledge from your PhD in your first job / in your current role?
  • What did you learn during your PhD which was useful in your first job?
  • Is there anything you learnt during your PhD which you use in your current job?
  • Is there anything you wish you had learnt or done during your PhD which would have helped your career?

I really enjoyed being a Panelist last year, as you will witness from my older blog post: “The Loneliness of the long-distance … VUI Designer!“. So  I am really looking forward to sharing some insight this year again into the world of Industry, the thrills and perils of start-ups, the luring flexibility of freelancing, and the dos and don’ts of Project Management.

P.S. Not sure who added those 2 extra lines in my profile that don’t make sense with the rest but it wasn’t my fault!