Interview with Cathy Pearl at Google: Qs on Conversation Design & AI Assistants

Interviewed by Jenara Nerenberg from Greater Good Magazine, Cathy shares her current work at Google, as well as her career in AI.

Do our current crop of AI Assistants really use AI? If not, are they still useful? We’ll look at the current state of AI Assistants, the challenges of building them, and speculate on what the future might bring. Learn from Cathy, Head of Conversation Design Outreach at Google, and the author of the O’Reilly book, “Designing Voice User Interfaces”.

Some of the questions covered include:
• How has your career changed since you last joined us at the AI Assistant Summit?
• What does a typical day look like as Head of Conversational Design Outreach look like?
• How are you working towards creating the best conversational experiences possible at Google?
• In your presentation, you asked the question, ’do you current crop of AI Assistants really use AI?’. Can you tell me why you think this might be in question?
• How can we ensure that AI doesn’t inherit some of the intrinsic faults of humans?

Cathy Pearl, Head of Conversation Design Outreach at Google

Cathy Pearl is Head of Conversation Design Outreach at Google, and the author of the O'Reilly book, "Designing Voice User Interfaces". She's been designing and creating Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) for nearly 20 years and is passionate about helping everyone make the best conversational experiences possible. Past speaking engagements include Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity, O’Reilly Bot Day, and TechCrunch Disrupt. Previously, Cathy was VP of User Experience at Sensely, whose virtual nurse avatar helps people stay healthy. She has worked on everything from programming NASA helicopter pilot simulators to designing a conversational iPad app in which Esquire magazine's style columnist tells users what they should wear on a first date. She has an MS in Computer Science from Indiana University and BS in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego.

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