Voice First and Social Isolation


As we get older, we increasingly live alone, and many of us who do live alone, live lonely, socially isolated lives.

But social isolation is not confined to the aging population. Many of us who work at home, who live alone (by choice or by circumstance), or who are physically or psychologically incapacitated, for short periods, chronically, or for long stretches of time, are also socially isolated.

In this Meetup, we talk about how Voice First technology, by virtue of using the most innate and the most natural of interfaces, can help those of us who suffer from social isolation.

We will also discuss how, like with all technologies, Voice First technology is sometimes a double edged sword: it may alleviate social isolation, but it may also cause it. Will we, for instance, become so friendly with our talking robots that we may feel that we no longer feel the urge to physically engage with humans, one-on-one? For instance, there is no doubt that social media has enabled us to maintain and nurture social connections that in the past we just left to die on the vine (high school and college friends and acquaintances, and even family). But at the same time, there is also no doubt that social media has turned many of us into cloistered, typing and tapping fabricated personas behind a screen, large or small. How can we ensure that we don't embrace this powerful new technology in a way that keeps us from making the same mistakes that we did with social media, for instance.


- Cooley LLP: https://www.cooley.com/
- The Motley Fool: https://www.fool.com/
- Roqos: https://roqos.com
- Witlingo: http://www.witlingo.com/


• 6:30 pm - 7:00 pm - Beer, snacks, chit-chatting and networking

• 7:00 pm - 7:10 pm - Introductions, Sponsors, Announcements - Alem Bantayehu, Head of Program Management, Witlingo

• 7:10 pm - 7:20 pm - Yet Another Disruption: But can we be wiser this time around? Ahmed Bouzid, Co-Founder & CEO, Witlingo

• 7:20 pm - 7:30 pm - When Technology Creates Good Friction -- Olivia Jeffers, Founder Compassionate Technologies

• 7:30 pm - 8:00 pm - Far Field Voice and Social Isolation: The Promise ahead: Ryan Elza, The AARP Foundation

• 8:00 pm - 8:10 pm - Break

• 8:10 pm - 8:45 pm - Roundtable Discussion: Participants:
- Paul Burden, Our Voice (Moderator)
- Paul Nasto, My Home Companion
- Pazit Aviv, Village Coordinator at Montgomery County
- Sheena Jaffer, Assistive Technology Program for the District of Columbia

• 8:45 pm - 9:00 pm - Q&A and Wrap up



Ahmed Bouzid -- Founder & CEO at Witlingo // https://www.linkedin.com/in/ahmedbouzid/

Alem Bantayehu -- Head, Program Management at Witlingo // https://www.linkedin.com/in/alem-bantayehu-5541501/

Olivia Jeffers -- Founder, Compassionate Technologies // https://www.linkedin.com/in/oliviajeffers/

Paul Burden -- Founder, Our Voice // https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-burden-10808162/

Paul Nasto -- My Home Companion -- President & CEO Anara Ventures, LLC // https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-nasto-01041b5b/

Pazit Aviv -- Village Coordinator at Montgomery County // https://www.linkedin.com/in/pazit-aviv-36a69848/

Ryan Elza -- Social Entrepreneur in Residence, AARP Foundation // https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-elza-a376616a/

Sheena Jaffer -- Assistive Technology Program for the District of Columbia // https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheena-jaffer-casp-caps-1ab4ab6/