SXSW 17 BY Oscar Martinez | jennifer damis





Exponential technologies like automation, artificial intelligence, and bots disrupt and revolutionize the way we work and consume. Will these emerging technologies help or hurt your brand? Depends on the strength of your A.I. strategy. This interactive, three-hour workshop is targeted towards brand executives and marketers who want to 1) understand the latest breakthroughs in AI & automation, 2) adapt technical research to business applications, and 3) successfully design and deploy emerging technologies like AI, chatbots, and more both internally to your workforce and externally to your consumers.


1. Be Brief - Users want to get to the essentials and get things done. Use succinct language and stick to the message. Simplicity is an art.

2. Be Clear - One message should embody one intention and one desired action. Don’t overwhelm users with multiple messages and calls-to-action all at once. Make the conversation natural and progressive. Write for the Average Joe, not for literature professors.

3. Be Specific - Be very specific about what you expect from users and what they can expect from you. Especially ditch those open-ended questions or statements! People are unpredictable, and even the best designed chatbots do not cope well with unpredictability. So avoid ambiguity at all costs. Don’t lift the floodgate to misinterpretation, or the conversation could go off topic and result in a disappointing chat experience.

4. Show Personality - Keeping things short and sweet doesn’t mean you can’t inject a healthy dose of personality and humor. This is actually vital if you want to keep users engaged over time. The chatbot is the extension of your brand’s personality, so it’s critical to reflect its spirit and values. Personality will bring your bot come to life and make users come back for more.

5. Use Imagery - People tend to engage more when you strike the right balance between text and images. So make your conversations appropriately visual and interactive. You’ll most likely see a surge in your engagement rates.

6. Act Human - You don’t want users to feel like they’re chatting with a machine. Instead, you want them to feel like they’re chatting with a friend! Natural language, expressions, and even emojis are good ways to make the conversation feel more realistic. Make interactions feel human, even if you’re honest about the fact it’s a bot talking.

7. Have Integrity - Be upfront about everything. Don’t trick users into thinking that the bot is a real person; manage expectations in the very first interactions. If you are honest about the bot’s capabilities and limitations, users will more likely play fair and square and follow the rules. If you try to be too smart, they’ll likely try to outsmart you and make you look like a fool.

8. Be Useful - Chatbots are the perfect channel to build relationships based on value. And the best way to create value for people is to be the trusted friend they can turn to when they have a question or need something. Always be at the service of the user, whether it’s to provide fun or function. If you do that, they’ll reward you with their attention and, ultimately, with their business.


  • Simple
  • Concrete
  • Emotional
  • Memorable

Top rated Chatbot Worldwide | MITSUKU



The Kia team worked with Ansible, a company well-versed in the art of creating chatbots, and the quality really reflects this. Users will be impressed by the clean and simple layout of the Kia bot, which breaks down the information into sections such as Design, Technology and Hybrid Engineering, and conveys content in small, digestible points. Illustrated with large, richly detailed photographs which can be expanded to full screen, the bot allows users to really admire the car.

KIA Bot | FB Messenger

For those who are enticed, the bot links directly to the Kia website, where interested parties can browse more detailed information. The chatbot alone, though, contains an impressive amount of information related to the Niro’s features and spec.

THE STATE OF AI – Attributes:

  • Systems that predict
  • Systems that think
  • Systems that create
  • Systems that learn
  • Systems that adapt

Deep Learnings

  • Input
  • Sensing
  • Segmentation
  • Feature extraction
  • Classification
  • Post
A Bot That Does Everything Will Be Good At Nothing


Blomgren/Doberman, Michael Facemire/Forrester

Artificial Intelligence has emerged as an important technology that will soon dictate how we design, develop, and integrate our digital experiences. As designers and developers continue to evolve how we work together, this imminent change will have a strong impact.

In this session, we describe the concept of "Cognitive Experiences," a new way to look at UX and the creative process that builds on machine learning to create new interface paradigms. If you worry that all new interfaces will become annoying chatbots, then join us to talk about how design and technology can combine to create visually-rich interfaces that use AI to guide users through frictionless experiences.

Don’t create humans, but create new innovation


  • Design frictionless experience
  • Data science = math intuition
  • Good relationship with inputs & outputs
  • Designing using the right tools
  • Design cohesive ecosystems of unified experiences and not single UI’s
  • Build something narrow to solve one problem



  • Discover familiarity
  • Trace when AI goes wrong
  • Usual vs unusual
  • Build small things to build the best experience


  • Show what you like / don’t like
  • Ask signals in the interface
  • Have constant communication between data scientists and ux designers



Leslie Ann Jones/Skywalker Sound, Uwe Cremering/Sennheiser, Steve Milton/Listen, Terence Caulkins/Arup

In today’s digital world, there is an increasing need for more advanced approaches to sound design than ever before. As digital products become essential to our lives, the sounds they make become an inseparable part of the fabric of our reality. New installations and developments in AR/VR require a completely new approach to thinking about sound and the role it plays in our lives. Designing the Sound of the Future will go behind the scenes to show the creation of sound across a number of groundbreaking experiences and products, focusing on the importance of sound, how it can be deployed to create amazing experiences and, ultimately, what the future holds for this field.

SOUND IDENTITY: What does your brand sound like?

Design Drivers:

  • Humanazing
  • Intelligent
  • Connected
  • Productive
  • Empowering
“Sound help us feel more human” It is less about hearing and more about feeling.



UX Sound Strategy
  • Human
  • Environment
  • Operating System



New sound challenges for capturing & playback

  • Channel-based audio vs Object based audio


VR – opens the door | AR – will define the room

Important areas to consider when creating VR and/or AR experiences with SOUND

  • Healing
  • Immersion
  • Scalability
  • Data
  • Interactivity
  • Collaboration

Ideas around creating a new Car and Driver Sonic Identity

  • In Market Shoppers
  • Podcast listening
  • Music
  • Car sounds
  • Sound delights
  • Car Enthusiasts
  • Engine Sounds / Exhaust Sounds
  • Motor Sounds
  • Specific sounds around car technologies



Nick Bicanic/RVLVR, Imraan Ismail/Within, Ola Bjorling/MediaMonks, Rose Troche/Alforbel, INC



A lot of what passes for quality 360 video these days is fairly mediocre. It may be technically accomplished (as it demands significant technical chops in post-production) but from a story/experience perspective - most pieces are not much more than narrated postcards. If frameless entertainment is to reach the lofty goals science fiction has set for us - we need to change this – and this change needs to start now.


  • Break from mass audiences
  • Push for quality
  • Create emotional story telling
  • Not about impression but about depth

AI Replaces Search : Future of Customer Acquisition

Search is ripe for reinvention - consumers find it inefficient on their small screens and publishers and service providers are seeing conversion rates steadily decline. Currently, AI-powered assistants are the leading candidate to replace search -- for both consumers and the businesses who seek to acquire them. This panel will explore how AI technologies, and the category creation we’re in the early phases of, can become a viable user acquisition channel for publishers, content providers and others who have traditionally looked to SEO and SEM for customer acquisition.


  • Charles Jolley, Ozlo
  • Amanda Richardson, HotelTonight
  • Brian Witlin, Yummly
  • Rangan Majumder, Microsoft

How are keywords factored in?


  • Allows you to ask more questions or phrases. How do you add value in the new context of natural language
  • Search engines could begin to ask the next question to help discover the possible answers. As opposed to the user pulling information
  • AI is getting closer to human intelligence:
  • Should be looking to integrate w/ personal assistants, eventually toolkits will be provided for companies own development
  • Will need customer service, since majority are scripts. Getting to the Bot is faster than escalating to a person
  • Using Bots for chat to train the search in anticipation of questions
  • How deconstruction your content for use by AI with data?
  • As a content originator companies should be thinking bout SEO, chat bots
  • Content and services that can pull for the assistants to pull and solve the problem
  • Must shift from giving commands to telling the assistant I'm home and the command(s) will happen rather than going through a list of intents
  • AI the general technology
  • Will expand the phone interaction. Companies need to figure out how to get the phone magic moment.
  • It will be machine learning and AI
  • Must be thoughtful about how the data is constructed
  • AI is still a way off, but companies should be watching out for it

Social Video and the Future of Consumption

Video journalism on social media is changing astronomically fast. In a little over a year Facebook has gotten every media outlet to prioritize video more than anything else. It has shifted the makeup of editorial output, news staffs and the look and feel of consumption habits online. People are reading an endless stream of text-on-screen videos and watching untethered live events unfold in front of them. This session will dive into how video adapted so quickly, how the format has changed consumption habits and if it has all been for the better. Panelists will also discuss the latest trends and where things are headed.


  • Adam Banicki, Vice Media
  • Deborah Acosta, NYTimes
  • Joe Posner, Vox Media

As a Publisher do you resist or embrace Facebook?

  • NYTimes testing live reporting, has a huge audience. Been a great experience learning. Will continue live reporting journalism
  • Onsite they tested FB Live with Women's March and Music
  • Vox, finds FB is a valuable as a great place to start the conversation because that is where people are
  • Nimburial ads placed in 90 second videos. The monetization aspect still tricky.
  • Vice, wants to resist because FB forces you to do it their way
  • Great to understand the audience on FB
  • Other great platforms like Snapchat. Instagram/ FB on the way out amongst younger audience
  • NYTimes coming up with a Snapchat discovery strategy

Tradeoff Quality vs. Quantity?

  • Explore empowering individual contributors for 8 sec videos
  • Short form (90 seconds) vs. Long form (5 - 8 mins)
  • Audiences can be trained to watch longer format videos
  • Spontaneity vs. structured format is dependent on the organization
  • KPI's to focus on
  • Engagement
  • Building audiences, subscription and partnership

Voice: The Invisible UI Nobody Speaks About

As brands venture off .com and onto other platforms such as social networks, physical objects, AI conversations, AR, and VR – there is one common design technique currently being used that is not often spoke about: Voice. A few brands actively use Voice as a way to interface with their users in a unique and effective way. Even fewer acknowledge and purposefully design for their Voice. In this Panel, creators with experience working both independently and for bigger brands discuss what Voice means to them as a way of interfacing with audiences. We'll also discuss how you can do meaningful and authentic design for Voice in order to shape your user’s experience across platforms. Panel:


  • James Cabrera, Refinery29
  • Alex Schleifer, AirBNB
  • Matt Hartman, BetaWorks
  • Jennifer Puno, ILoveCreative

Defining Voice?

  • Understanding the conversations that are happening?

Things to consider:

  • When you leave a brand what impression do you get?
  • Communities have changed with tech and we now have a challenge to figure out friction/non-friction points.
  • Engineers have to determine how to be a part of the search
  • Discovery is broken because of missing starting interfaces
  • Words and voice matters in these ambient interfaces
  • Designing for voice requires being approachabl
  • For Alexa, you must think about native
  • Where is the conversation happening? In the kitchen?
  • What does the interface look like in context to where and what you are doing? Alexa, Siri, etc.
  • Instant articles, Google AMP
  • Limits the ability to differentiate as a brand
  • Must be aware that there are Bots, Fakes News, that will require human element
  • Explosion in video has occurred because it can't be faked like photos which feels more honest
  • Podcast, has grown exponentially because ability to have personality to be vulnerable
  • Weekly news about voice computing apps:
  • Hearing Voices

Media Wars: Publishers vs. Platforms & Influencers


  • Harry McCracken, Fast Company
  • Mark Schaefer, Schaefer Marketing Solutions
  • Joe Lazauskas, Contently
  • Jessica Best, Blendle

Is there a battle?

  • Ecosystem is evolving with subscriptions services Ad consumption has decreased exponentially. Moving to Ad free world. What's left is influencers
  • Google/FB have gotten a lot of Ad money
  • Platforms/Publishers aren't going anywhere
  • FB is not a friend or foe just a way of life
  • Some have had success with FB sharing their content due to not looking to be everything to everyone
  • Figure out your target audience: i.e. Economist

What are writers to in building their brand?

  • Media organizations are taking a social first approach then the regular news to curate the stories
  • i.e. Harris newspaper
  • You don't need to do everything
  • We need innovations in the Ads space

What is business model for media now?

  • Not sure it's a simple concept, really a mix of:
  • Micropayments
  • Events
  • Flat rate
  • Sponsored content
  • People want feeds to get everything in one place, so how does media come up with revenue for that type of interaction
  • Everyone in media is waiting for someone else to solve the Ad problem, but the media industry needs to fix it on their own
  • Traditional media is pushing new content, just haven't have monetized
  • i.e.
  • National Graphic
  • NYTimes, interactive ads/video
  • NPR, podcasts
  • National Public Television
  • Is Facebook out to get media companies?
  • They are not out to help Media because it’s not in their focus nor might they know how to
  • Will Snapchat be a strong platform?
  • The brand has younger eyes, so it's important already, but not sure how media can leverage
  • New outlets are already covering news on the channel. The company has the emotions of a generation, but has risk of FB replicating features and applying it to an international market.
  • How important is Twitter to media?
  • Twitter doesn't allow the engagement that the media industry is looking for
  • Twitter is where news is discussed

Beyond Driverless Cars: Transportation Future

Every day, parking lots are full of empty cars, sitting idle, costing Americans trillions of dollars to own and maintain. Americans only utilize their cars about 5% of the time, yet cars represent a huge investment of our income. All of that is about to change, and it is the biggest economic opportunity in America. In addition, our roads will be safer, less congested and have lower pollution. Whether it is autonomous vehicles, connected technology, car sharing or ride sharing, we have begun a fundamental transformation of our transportation system. Join Allstate and other national leaders as we discuss the unprecedented alignment and cooperation required among private and public sectors.


  • Anthony Foxx, Former US Department of Transportation
  • Don Civgin, Allstate
  • Neal Ungerleider, Fast Company
  • Chandra Bhat, The University of Texas at Austin

Equity conversation allows distributing funds from assets that sit idle 95% of the time to rides frees up finances

  • 3 legs of Transportation
  • Technology
  • Infrastructure
  • Human Behavior, which is not often discussed
  • Taken for granted as its been seamless thus far
  • There will be unintended consequences with this new shift
  • Interactions amongst people
  • Emissions
  • Employment
  • How does the paradigm of the vehicle ownership change?
  • Could there be a shared model of ownership economy
  • Studies support there is interest from young and educated segments
  • How far off are we from autonomous cars?
  • There will be a hybrid mix, but it's coming faster than most think
  • Customers will demand once the value is set
  • How will data sharing work?
  • FAA can be an example as the industry had to collaborate, private, public and university to understand it was for the betterment of the industry as a whole to reduce fatalities

Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford.- Smart Mobility

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