The ConversAItion

Interactions LLC

A podcast airing viewpoints on the impact of AI on business and society.

All Episodes

Tinder, the popular dating app that brought the phrase “swipe right” into the mainstream, has been helping people connect online since 2012. This week, Director of Analytics Jennifer Flashman joins us on The ConversAItion to unpack the AI behind its hallmark matchmaking process, the new features Tinder introduced amid social distancing to meet a new generation of daters and the future of accessible online dating technology.

Nov 16

14 min 46 sec

Redfin is a real estate brokerage that combines AI-powered insights and agent savvy to make the home buying and selling process easier, faster and less stressful. In her ten years at Redfin, CTO Bridget Frey has played a major role in shaping the company’s powerful recommendation engine. This week, she joins us on The ConversAItion to unpack the role of AI in real estate, the impact of the pandemic on home buying and selling and why she tackles the issue of diversity in the workplace by thinking of it as an engineering problem. You can find Bridget on Twitter @svbridget.

Nov 2

14 min 48 sec

pymetrics is a talent-matching platform that leverages AI and behavioral neuroscience to pair people with job openings that best fit both their professional skill set and their raw human potential. This week on The ConversAItion, CEO and co-founder Dr. Frida Polli joins us to discuss why a candidate’s resume isn’t always the best reflection of their capabilities, how pymetrics is working to pave a new, more ethical path forward for the hiring industry and the pandemic’s continued effects on the recruitment process. You can find Frida on Twitter @fridapolli.

Oct 19

13 min 9 sec

Duolingo, the hallmark language-learning platform, is on a mission to make education accessible to all—and leverages AI to make that education as tailored and scalable as possible for its 500+ million users. This week, Duolingo’s Research Director, Burr Settles, joins us on The ConversAItion to unpack how the company embeds AI into the end-to-end app journey, the pandemic’s impact language-learning usage and why Duolingo wants to remind you of the best tutor you have ever had. You can find Burr on Twitter @burrsettles.

Oct 5

15 min 28 sec

Woebot, an AI-powered chatbot that engages patients to provide real-time mental health support, exchanges 4.7 million messages with people every week in more than 130 countries around the world. Founder and President Alison Darcy joins The ConversAItion this week to unpack the science and technology behind Woebot, and share how the service makes mental health care radically accessible for those in need during the pandemic and beyond.

Jul 13

17 min 35 sec

This week on The ConversAItion, Jim chats with Supriya Gupta, Senior Product Director and Head of Recommendations at Credit Karma, a personal finance company that provides resources, tools and personalized recommendations across the entire financial ecosystem. They discuss Credit Karma’s latest machine learning innovations, how AI facilitates better financial decisions and why data is the key to optimizing financial support.  

Jun 29

19 min 26 sec

Hopper is on a mission to make travel booking more seamless and flexible with personalized, data-driven recommendations. President of Fintech & Data at Hopper Ella Alkalay Schreiber joins The ConversAItion to discuss how AI tackles common pain points in travel booking, like price volatility, how the technology helped navigate the significant fluctuations of the pandemic and the growing opportunity for AI in the travel industry.

Jun 15

15 min 22 sec

Stitch Fix, a popular online styling service that delivers curated clothing choices to 3.9 million customers, has pioneered AI-powered personalized experiences since its founding in 2011. This week on The ConversAItion, Tatsiana Maskalevich, former Director of Data Science, discusses the troves of data that inform each “Fix,” why stylists and algorithms are better together and how AI helps address the decision fatigue pervasive in shopping. You can find her on Twitter @tatsianams.

Jun 1

18 min 39 sec

We hear a lot about autonomous vehicles these days, but they remain a black box for most. This week on the ConversAItion, Jim sits down with Janek Hudecek, Director of Planning and Control at California-based autonomous vehicle company Zoox to unpack the tech that makes self-driving cars possible. They discuss Zoox’s unique approach to autonomy and how the company is rethinking personal transportation with vehicles custom-built for passengers.

May 18

16 min 54 sec

Amidst the widespread uncertainty of the pandemic and political and social turmoil of 2020, The Trevor Project—the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for the LGBTQ community—served over 150,000 youth in need over the last year. This week on The ConversAItion, AI and Data Product Manager Kendra Gaunt discusses the importance of balancing AI and humans to provide quality care, intersectionality and its role in AI development, and how technology bridges existing gaps in mental health care.

May 4

16 min 31 sec

Renowned AI and big data thought leader and analyst Susan Etlinger kicks off Season 4 of The ConversAItion with a discussion on creating human-centric, responsible AI. She’ll share insight into her work at Altimeter and the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and offer her take on why we should think of AI more like a dishwasher, the importance of government oversight and why we should be optimistic about AI’s future. You can find Susan on Twitter @setlinger.

Apr 20

18 min 45 sec

Author and renowned thought leader Pascal Bornet joins The ConversAItion to discuss the growing role of intelligent automation in business. He breaks down what it is, how companies can successfully implement it (and why they should) and how it could help save as many as ten million lives a year. Pascal can be found on Twitter @pascal_bornet.

Dec 2020

16 min 18 sec

Bestselling author, digital anthropologist and Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce Brian Solis has dedicated his career to helping businesses identify opportunities for growth and transformation. He joins this episode of The ConversAItion to explain a threat he calls Digital Darwinism, share how businesses can avoid obsolescence and break down the difference between innovation and iteration—and why companies need both. You can find Brian on Twitter @briansolis.

Dec 2020

17 min 35 sec

As we collectively spend more time around the house, demand for smart home products is surging—and Josh.ai, a voice-controlled home automation company, is right in the thick of it. Co-founder and CEO Alex Capecelatro joins The ConversAItion to break down how Josh.ai creates truly intelligent systems, why he built the company around privacy and the secret to transformational technologies. You can find Alex on Twitter @alexcapecelatro.

Nov 2020

16 min 28 sec

Pinterest is known for its image-centric discovery platform; but with billions of Pins, it takes a very powerful AI engine to create a relevant, personalized experience for each of Pinterest’s 400 million users. Chief Scientist Jure Leskovec joins this week’s episode of The ConversAItion to discuss how the company leverages sophisticated AI to understand and curate content.

Nov 2020

15 min 59 sec

With the rise of virtual and hybrid learning, educators are leaning on technology—including AI—more than ever to deliver exceptional classroom experiences. Paul Johansen, CTO at EdTech company Edmentum, joins The ConversAItion to discuss how AI and automation can enrich education and support teachers, students and parents in the new normal.

Oct 2020

12 min 1 sec

With most in-person celebrations off the table, people nationwide are leaning on contactless gift-giving to stay connected to families and friends from afar. May Ng, Senior Director of Customer Experience Technology at 1-800-Flowers.com, joins Jim to discuss the spiking demand for gift delivery, and how AI has helped manage the surge.

Oct 2020

8 min 35 sec

Season 3, which will explore AI at home, kicks off with a conversation with Adam Oliner, Head of Machine Learning at Slack. In this episode, Jim and Adam discuss the new world of remote work and Slack’s growing role in keeping companies connected. Together, they examine the many ways in which AI creates a more intuitive experience for Slack users around the globe.

Sep 2020

11 min 32 sec

How should kids learn about AI? Jim is joined by Dave Touretzky, professor of computer science and researcher on AI in education, to explore the history of AI in education and the process of introducing AI to K-12 curriculum.

Jul 2020

15 min 21 sec

Smarter parking, data-driven pricing, industry transformation—Jim speaks with Elan Mosbacher, SVP of Strategy and Operations at SpotHero, about how AI adoption is transforming the parking industry for consumers and garage operators alike. 

Jun 2020

15 min 57 sec

People analytics, personality profiling, overcoming biases—Jim discusses AI in hiring with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor and Chief Talent Scientist at staffing firm ManpowerGroup. They delve into how AI is changing the way companies evaluate and manage top talent.

Jun 2020

16 min 50 sec

Smart homes, IoT education, sustainable living—Jim is joined by IoT expert and entrepreneur Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino to talk about all things “living with tech.” Specifically, they unpack the history and future of technology in the home. 

May 2020

11 min 48 sec

How can robots can work best with humans? Jim and guest Dr. Michael Littman discuss everything from robotics design to how humans can play a role in teaching robots socially acceptable behavior, informed by Michael’s work as a co-director and researcher at Brown University’s Humanity-Centered Robotics Initiative. You can find Michael on Twitter at @mlittmancs.

May 2020

11 min 52 sec

Jim is joined by Louis Rosenberg, prolific inventor and the founder and CEO of Unanimous AI, a company that uses AI to amplify the intelligence of human groups. They discuss how an approach called swarm intelligence can be used to forecast everything from the Kentucky Derby to medical diagnoses, with surprising accuracy. You can find Unanimous AI on Twitter @UnanimousAI.

Apr 2020

17 min 26 sec

Season two kicks off with Karen Hao, Senior AI Reporter at MIT Technology Review. In this episode, Karen and Jim explore the role of the media in educating the public on AI. They also discuss what it’s like for reporters who are now faced with the challenge of reporting on AI during the coronavirus pandemic. You can find Karen on Twitter @_KarenHao.

Apr 2020

16 min 53 sec

Jim explores ethical robot design with Thomas Arnold of the Tufts University Human-Robot Interaction Lab. Recorded in front of a live audience, they discuss the research around moral, ethical and logistical considerations when designing for human-robot interactions. With a background in theological studies, Professor Arnold offers a unique perspective on how humans respond to robots in social settings, and how interacting with these autonomous systems will, in turn, impact humans. Follow Thomas on twitter @Thomas__Arnold.

Dec 2019

18 min 22 sec

Jim speaks with a renowned expert on digital business, Tom Davenport, about everything from AI and the fear of job displacement to employability in an AI-driven world. A prolific author, senior advisor to Deloitte Analytics and the President's Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, Tom is always thinking about enterprise technology and its impact on the future of work. He regularly writes for publications like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Harvard Business Review. Follow Tom on Twitter @TDav.

Nov 2019

20 min 53 sec

In this episode, Jim explores the role of AI in voice casting with Jim Kennelly, owner of Lotas Productions, an audio recording studio that offers services in casting, directing and recording. They discuss everything from finding the right voice for all kinds of media to the growing importance of voice in creating meaningful connections between people and technology. Follow Jim on Twitter @VO_Kennelly. 

Oct 2019

14 min 17 sec

In this episode, Jim speaks with Susse Jensen, Senior Experience Designer at Adobe, about the growing importance of voice interface design. They discuss the ways in which businesses can design voice technology to transform human-to-machine interactions and provide inclusive, productive digital experiences. Susse is confident that voice interfaces will gain momentum in the near future, reducing screen time and generating widespread benefits to both businesses and consumers. Follow Susse on Twitter @SusseSonderby.

Oct 2019

17 min 49 sec

Jim and Gabriel talk social robots, AI-powered robots that look and communicate like humans. They discuss their development, applications and how people building them can navigate the creep factor. Gabriel is a Professor in Speech Communication and Technology in Stockholm and also the co-founder at Furhat Robotics, a company that builds human-like social robots. Check out Furhat on Twitter @furhatrobotics.

Oct 2019

15 min 12 sec

Tech enthusiast Jim Freeze kicks off his deep exploration of AI with innovation expert Rob Atkinson. They cover the history of innovation, apprehension around AI at work, and the importance of education and training in AI adoption. Rob, the president of ITIF, a DC-based tech policy think tank, has been studying and researching innovation his entire career. His POV is a respected one: The Obama Administration appointed Rob to an advisory board focused on national innovation strategy. This show is produced by Interactions, a conversational AI company. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAtkinsonITIF. For more, go to interactions.com/podcast.

Sep 2019

18 min 14 sec