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The ConversAItion

Technology Podcasts

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


United States


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




Fueling Federal Initiatives With AI

For more than 40 years, Maximus, the government IT service management company, has partnered with state, federal and local agencies to build technology solutions that allow them to better connect with citizens. This week on The ConversAItion, Maximus’ President of US Federal Information Technology Raj Parameswaran explains how technology plays a foundational role in enabling government services, the role AI and automation played in managing skyrocketing demand for citizen services during the pandemic and what’s next for AI in the public sector.


Backstage With Spotify: How the Audio Giant Uses AI to Tune Business Processes and Employee Skillsets

Spotify is one of the world’s largest audio streaming platforms, with more than 400 million active monthly users worldwide. Behind the scenes, Global Head of Intelligent Automation Sidney Madison Prescott leverages RPA, AI and machine learning to streamline business processes and upskill employees. On today’s episode of The ConversAItion podcast, she discusses citizen developers, how she’s enabling humans and robots to work together seamlessly and what the future holds for intelligent automation at Spotify. You can find Sidney on Twitter @sidneyinthecity.


How Shopify’s Data-Informed Approach Empowers Entrepreneurs

Shopify is a multinational e-commerce platform that helps 1.7M+ merchants across 175 countries build and manage their businesses. As VP of Data Science, Ella Hilal is focused on leveraging Shopify’s troves of data to remove barriers and improve the merchant experience. Today, she brings her 15 years of experience in AI, ML and data analysis to The ConversAItion podcast to discuss what it means to empower merchants, the difference between data-driven and data-informed and what the future of AI in e-commerce looks like. You can find Ella on Twitter @a_hilal.


How UPS Leverages AI to Level Up Logistics

UPS delivers nearly 25 million packages and documents every day. While the process seems near-effortless, AI is hard at work behind the scenes to ensure the reliability consumers have come to expect. Today on The ConversAItion, Laura Patel, Principal Data Scientist within UPS’ Advanced Technology Group, walks us through how the scientific method can inform data science, the role of AI in a package lifecycle and why data will be essential for the success of logistics companies going forward—including building a more sustainable future.


How Lyft Revolutionizes Ridesharing With Machine Learning

Lyft, the popular ridesharing company, has powered on-demand transportation for over a decade—and AI has been along for the ride from the start. This week, Craig Martell, Lyft’s Head of Machine Learning, joins us on The ConversAItion to discuss how AI enables his team to make accurate predictions when it comes to matching riders and drivers, the unexpected connection between social sciences and machine learning and why the AI industry is poised for “hockey stick growth.”


How Moderna’s AI Infrastructure Is Revolutionizing Vaccine Development, Drug Discovery And More

Most are familiar with the name Moderna and its landmark role in developing one of the first COVID-19 vaccines, but few know how the company leveraged AI to accelerate its creation. Today, Moderna’s Director of AI and Data Science, Dr. Andrew Giessel, joins us on The ConversAItion to discuss how his team leverages AI to accelerate the mRNA research process for a number of different applications, the importance of training employees in AI basics and how computer science and biology can work hand-in-hand in the future to transform the pharmaceutical industry. You can find Andrew on Twitter @giessel.


Unpacking The Technology Behind User-Centric Conversational Design

Susan Hura is a renowned speech technology expert and user experience designer with more than 35 years of experience in the linguistics field. She also happens to be the Director of Conversational Design Services at Interactions. This week, Susan joins us on The ConversAItion to walk us through the evolution of speech technology, from phone trees to virtual assistants, the importance of user testing and why every conversation should be considered a contract. You can find Susan on Twitter @speechusability.


AI and Online Dating: Tinder’s Match Made in Heaven

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.


How Redfin Uses AI to Help Buyers Find Their Dream Home

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.


Looking Beyond the Resume With pymetrics

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.


How Duolingo Democratizes Language Learning With AI

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.


Using AI to Make Mental Health Care Radically Accessible

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.


How Credit Karma is Demystifying Personal Finance with AI

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.


How Hopper Optimizes Travel Booking With AI

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.


Stitch Fix Unravels the AI Behind Personalized Styling

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.


Zoox Pops the Hood on the AI Behind Self-Driving Cars

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.


How The Trevor Project Uses Intersectional AI For LGBTQ Suicide Prevention

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.


Leveraging big data for good with Susan Etlinger

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.


Unlocking the potential of intelligent automation with Pascal Bornet

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.


Salesforce’s Brian Solis on Digital Darwinism and continuous innovation

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.