Voice Technology for People with All Abilities

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Noelle LaCharite, Principal PM Manager & Applied AI Engineer, Microsoft, at the 2019 VOICE Summit at NJIT to talk about the importance of emerging voice technologies for everyone including those with disabilities. They also examine ways to achieve success using mindful leadership skills.

8/24/19 #2251






"Welcome to the Voice Summit. I'm Steve Adubato. This is... it's a three-day event. A three-day event, right? Mm hmm. It's big. It's at NJIT in Newark, New Jersey. The biggest Voice Summit in the world. We're pleased to be joined by Noelle LaCharite who is Principal PM Manager and Applied AI... I believe that stands for artificial intelligence... engineer at? Microsoft. Microsoft! What do you guys do at Microsoft? Something about Windows and mice and buttons. Yeah. Something like that. Okay. Come on. Break this title down for us. Yeah. So Principal PM means I basically manage products. And so the products I manage are Enterprise Voice, inside of things like Teams, Outlook, Word, right? How do we make that less... well, more frictionless? And then the second half is what I do for fun. [laughter] Applied artificial intelligence engineer? Right. Come on! It's what I do every day. So I build... Okay, what is the thing? I build applications with applied AI models, which are models that are really available to any developer on the planet. Okay. Here's what I do now. For example? So for example I was actually just talking about this with someone today, what if I had this great idea to create an application that could...? Like, I have a son. He has Down syndrome. He has slurred speech. So he can't easily talk to something like Alexa or Cortana or Google. So what if I could build a model that could learn his speech as a dev? I could just build an app that understands his speech? And then... A dev... a developer? Yeah. And then translate it so that Alexa or Google could understand what he's saying. Doable? Doable! And you don't even have to be, like, a data scientist or machine learning person. You don't need any of that. You just... What do you have to have? You have to be a developer. Which means you could start... literally you could go take a JavaScript course today, and by tonight, you could be building machine learning models all by yourself. Given how expansive the universe of those who could participate, including someone like me, who let's just say, struggles ...with certain technological issues? Right. What does that mean? I know it's a big-picture question. What does that mean for the future of voice technology if virtually everyone can play in the game? Yes. Well I mean that's my hope. I think it's also Microsoft's hope. We call it the democ... Democratization? ...democratization. Right? What a word! Yeah. Or commoditization. Right? In terms of... Is there a difference? Not really. Really? Not from the perspective of a dev. Okay. Yeah. Probably from..."