Why Voice, Why Now?: Trends in A.I. and Voice-Driven Technology

Special Event
Theater 7–8:30pm
  • Regular $20
  • Media Center Members $10

Presented with:

If you’ve ever asked Amazon’s Alexa for the weather, checked in with Apple’s Siri for directions, or simply listened to your favorite podcast, you’ll understand the power and pervasiveness of voice-driven technology and audio storytelling in today’s media landscape. And there are stunning innovations on the way, as companies and creators alike explore new ways to use artificial intelligence to break the fourth wall and design interactive environments for the voice. But why voice and why now?

At the top of the evening Will Hall, Executive Creative Director of RAIN, will guide us through some of the history, current topics, and future possibilities of digital ecosystems for the voice. This provocative presentation will then be followed by a panel with commentators and thought-leaders in the voice industry.

Your ticket includes:

7:00-8:30 PM – Presentation + Panel (Theater)

8:30-9:30 PM – Mixer, with complimentary wine/beer (Lounge)


Will Hall: Executive Creative Director, RAIN. Will is the Executive Creative Director at RAIN, leading combined teams of strategists, engineers, and designers. He serves on multiple advisory boards on Voice and emerging technology, and has been declared the "winner" of Pinterest. Over the past 14 years, he's worked at agencies with key clients like Amazon, Adobe, Facebook, Sony, Adult Swim, Puma and others. He is also an adjunct professor of Design at NYU. 


Todd Wasserman: Editor-in-Chief, Deeply AI. Todd Wasserman is the editor-in-chief of Deeply AI, a publication focused on the burgeoning AI industry. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of Adweek's Brandweek (2007-2010) and the first business editor for Mashable (2010-2015.) During his tenure at Mashable, the publication won four back-to-back Webbys for Best Business Blog and launched the successful Mashies awards. Todd has also written for publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Economist Intelligence Unit and Advertising Age. In addition, he has written on behalf of clients including IBM, HP Enterprise, SAP, GE and Microsoft. Twitter: @ToddWasserman.

Matt Hartman: Partner, Betaworks Ventures. Matt Hartman is a partner at betaworks ventures. Prior to joining betaworks, Matt built ReferBoost (licensed to Apartments.com), and was at Hot Potato (acquired by Facebook). He began his career building the technology platform for Trammell Crow Company (acquired by CBRE) and is the inventor of Patent #8189781 related to the protection of digital images. Matt studied Cognitive Science and Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. You can find Matt's writing and contact information at http://hrt.mn. Twitter: @MattHartman.

Sargi Mann: EVP Digital Strategy – Investments, Havas Media Group. Over the past 17 years, Sargi has developed deep skills in marketing and ad technologies, digital strategy and activation, performance media, data, UX, financial planning, and business operations. With an inclusive, entrepreneurial, and collaborative work style, Sargi has successfully built high performance and highly regarded teams. Sargi joined Havas Media with extensive experience of working with multitude of clients with diverse business needs and across industry verticals. A graduate of Emerson College with a Masters in Global Communications and Advertising, she firmly believes that, in order to successfully unlock the true value of digital for businesses, practitioners must train as and think like business analysts.


RAIN is a digital consultancy that combines data, technology, and creativity to drive business growth for clients. RAIN specializes in designing and implementing digital ecosystems, engaging new audiences, and bringing new technology to market. Some of the companies working with RAIN today include Adobe, Campbell’s, and Amazon.

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