In San Francisco on 28-29 January 2016, the Virtual Assistant Summit brought together business leaders, influential technologists, data scientists and entrepreneurs creating next-generation virtual assistants. The summit showcased the opportunities of advancing trends in VAs, and explored how they will will impact business including communications, retail and healthcare. Experts in predictive intelligence, voice recognition and data mining discussed challenges in the industry, how to humanize intelligent agents, business applications, socially adaptive assistants and more.

Fireside Chat: Deborah Harrison, Cortana & Nathan Benaich, Playfair Capital

Deborah Harrison, Editorial Writer at Microsoft, is one of the original architects of the personality for Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana. She crafted the core principles that define Cortana's approach to communication and now helps shepherd those principles as Cortana lights up on other devices, on other operating systems, and in other countries. Today, while the field of AI is still in adolescence, we in the industry stand in a brilliant position to shape not only technological innovation but also the culture of conversation between humans and machines. If we approach this task with intention, then people can come to expect civility, connection, humor, transparency, and kindness from their interactions with AI just as surely as they expect the ability to update a calendar or dictate a text.

Humanizing an AI Meeting Scheduling Agent & Why it Matters
Dennis Mortensen, CEO & Founder,

Dennis Mortensen is CEO of, a company that is applying Artificial Intelligence to solve for a singular problem - that of scheduling meetings. Here he discusses why they chose the AI path and how Amy (the intelligent agent) just might schedule the 10 Billion+ formal meetings occurring in the US alone each year. Dennis will also explain the idea of Invisible Software (you know there is technology applied, but you don’t see it) and how he and the team envision a future of Intelligent Agents doing jobs in full - in contrast to apps that only empower humans. We’ll get a glimpse into how has successfully humanized the AI - Amy has received flowers, chocolate and then some. You can view more videos from the Virtual Assistant Summit on our playlist here.   Learn more about the applications of virtual assistants & AI:

View all upcoming RE•WORK summits here.