Tom Coates on conversational devices

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  1. Tom Coates on Conversational Devices

    In this episode of the O’Reilly Bots Podcast, I speak with Tom Coates, co-founder of Thington, a service layer for the Internet of Things. Thington provides a conversational, messaging-like interface for controlling devices like lights and thermostats, but it’s also conversational at a deeper level: its very architecture treats the interactions between different devices like a conversation, allowing devices to make announcements to any other device that cares to listen.

    Original video:
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    —Huffduffed by agileone

  2. Ben Brown on bot tools

    The O’Reilly Bots Podcast: An optimistic look at the future of bots.In this episode of the O’Reilly Bots Podcast, Pete Skomoroch and I speak with Ben Brown, co-founder and CEO of, the bot toolmaker behind the Botkit framework. Brown also runs the Talkabot conference, which was held in Austin this past September. Discussion points:

    The types of bots that people are building and experimenting with on Botkit

    How the evolution of bots compares to the evolution of mobile apps

    The strikingly collegial bots community: Brown cites the contributions that IBM and Microsoft have made to Botkit

    Praise for new types of bots, including notification bots (such as Poncho), what Brown calls “unfurling content” bots (such as Purple), and bots that open channels to discussions with humans

    Thington, an Internet of Things platform that functions like a chatroom for micro-bots connected to different home devices

    Other links:

    The Harvard Business Review bot, which sends out advice articles

    Bloomberg article on Slack’s partnership with IBM to build chatbots

    IBM’s “World of Watson” event, held in October

    —Huffduffed by cdevroe

  3. Solid Conference Panel (Connected Meetup 2014)

    Filmed at the Connected combined meetup for San Francisco Internet of Things, Sensored (SF) and SF Hardware, Solid Conference program chair Jon Bruner talks with Rachel Kalmar (Misfit Wearables), Mike Kuniavsky (PARC), and Dan Saffer (Smart Design) about how to move from software to hardware, what makes for a successful hardware startup, and how design has moved beyond the screen into connected devices and wearables.

    To learn more information about Solid Conference, go to

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  4. Charles Fracchia on a new breed of biologists - O’Reilly Radar

    Subscribe to the O’Reilly Hardware Podcast for insight and analysis about the Internet of Things and the worlds of hardware, software, and manufacturing. In this new episode of the…

    —Huffduffed by agileone

  5. Cathy Pearl on voice user interfaces for bots

    The O’Reilly Bots Podcast: Applying the principles of normal human interaction to chatbots.In episode four of the O’Reilly Bots podcast, Pete Skomoroch and I speak with Cathy Pearl, director of user experience at Sensely, and author of the forthcoming O’Reilly book “Designing Voice User Interfaces.” She’s also a speaker at O’Reilly’s upcoming Bot Day on October 19, 2016, in San Francisco.We begin with some differences between VUIs and conventional UIs. Pearl points out that “the key to conversational design is anticipating how people actually speak, not how we want them to speak.”

    The Amazon Echo, which we demonstrated in detail in episode 3, keeps coming up as a totally new mode of user interface; not only is it an exclusively voice-based interface with no built-in screen, but it’s also fundamentally social, intended for use in common spaces. Like Siri, the Echo has careful persona design, with subtle signals that help users figure out how to interact with it (as well as keeping them entertained).


    Sensely’s “virtual nurse” avatar Molly

    Domino’s Pizza voice interface

    The infamous Tay Twitterbot

    Microsoft’s Your Face

    Dan Grover on bots

    Bot of the week

    Pete and I stage a dramatic reading from Sensay, a chatbot that connects users with expert advice.

    —Huffduffed by agileone

  6. Matthew Berggren on making electronics accessible - O’Reilly Radar

    Subscribe to the O’Reilly Hardware Podcast for insight and analysis about the Internet of Things and the worlds of hardware, software, and manufacturing. In our new episode of the…

    —Huffduffed by agileone

  7. Andy Mauro on bot platforms and tools

    The O’Reilly Bots Podcast: A look at some of the technologies behind the chatbot boom.In this episode of the O’Reilly Bots Podcast, Pete Skomoroch and I speak with Andy Mauro, co-founder and CEO of Automat, a startup whose tools make it easy to build AI-powered bots. (Disclosure: Automat is a portfolio company of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, a VC firm affiliated with O’Reilly Media.) Mauro will be speaking at O’Reilly Bot Day on October 19, 2016, in San Francisco.“Anyone looking to get into this space should be looking at the emerging new platforms,” advises Mauro. “Pick the right channel, pick the vertical problem, and pick a platform that fits your strategic goals.” We discuss various bot platforms, including those developed by Facebook, Slack, and Microsoft, and Andy’s “sleeper pick,” Kik.

    Other discussion points:

    The development of conversational interfaces over the last 15 years

    The importance of language understanding

    “AI should be invisible to the end user,” says Mauro

    Why big companies are now talking about their bot and messaging strategies

    Other links:

    Apple’s 1987 “Knowledge Navigator” concept video

    KLM’s messenger bot for passengers

    —Huffduffed by agileone